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Archives - October 2007

October 31, 2007

It's Halloween so we've brought you a thought from Henry Payne...

... and something really scary from Forbes.

Greenies terrorizing the children: "Environmentalists: make it 'Hallowgreen'" - "Conservation groups urges buyers to support eco-friendly Halloween" (The Wildcat)

"Happy Trick-or-Treating!" - "Predictably, the alarm bells began weeks ago, as sugar-fearing writers began advising parents to “just say no to Halloween candy” and for everyone else to play a trick on the kids that come to their doors." (Junkfood Science)

"Inconveniently, climate alarmists are wrong" - "Evidence suggests that much of our concern about global climate change - and calls for government action - may be misplaced. No matter what we do, climate will continue to change, as it always has, warming and cooling periodically for various reasons. We are not in the midst of a crisis.

This is not to say we don't face a serious problem. But the problem is political: Because of the mistaken idea that governments can and must do something, pressures are building for new energy policies that could severely damage national economies, decrease living standards and increase poverty.

If not for such threats, one might consider climate change concerns little more than a new environmentalist fad, like the Alar apple scare or the "new Ice Age" fears of the 1970s. With so much at stake, however, it's essential to understand the issue better." (S Fred Singer, Pioneer Press)

"Betting on the Climate: An expert forecaster challenges Al Gore to a bet" - "The release of Al Gore’s power point presentation put to film, An Inconvenient Truth, was probably the highpoint of a decades-long campaign to convince people that they are destroying the planet, and to avoid disaster must give up much of what makes life pleasant. As is generally the case with such campaigns, it is difficult to sustain such a high pitch over time without being tuned out, especially when the climate doesn’t cooperate (there’s been no warming since 1998).

Moreover, by overplaying his hand (many of the film’s claims are wildly implausible), Mr. Gore has initiated a backlash. Scientists, heretofore absent from the global warming debate, have begun to criticize Mr. Gore, and by extension, much of the underpinnings of the global warming hypothesis.

One such critic is Professor Scott Armstrong, a leading expert on forecasting. Professor Armstrong hasn’t just criticized Mr. Gore; he has put his money where his mouth is by challenging the former VP to a $10,000 bet, based on climate predictions." (Paul Georgia, Frontiers of Freedom)

"IPCC too blinkered and corrupt to save" - "Vincent Gray has begun a second career as a climate-change activist. His motivation springs from the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a body that combats global warming by advocating the reduction of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. Dr. Gray has worked relentlessly for the IPCC as an expert reviewer since the early 1990s.

But Dr. Gray isn't an activist in the cause of enforcing the Kyoto Protocol and realizing the other goals of the worldwide IPCC process. To the contrary, Dr. Gray's mission, in his new role as cofounder of The New Zealand Climate Science Coalition, is to stop the IPCC from spreading climate-change propaganda that undermines the integrity of science." (Lawrence Solomon, Financial Post)

"Global Warming Debunked" - "Despite the oft-repeated claim that the science is settled that man-made global warming is threatening the planet and that a there is a consensus on that contention among most scientists, a number of top members of the scientific community across the globe vehemently disagree.

Their voices however, go largely unheard thanks to the mainstream media that worships at the altar of Al Gore and promotes his global warming hysteria, refusing to report on any opposing views, no matter how scientifically sound they might be.

That has once again become obvious with the media's treatment of Sen. James Inhofe's, R-Ola., two hour speech delivered on the floor of the United States Senate on Oct. 26, debunking fears of man-made global warming. Although Inhofe effectively demolished the "science is settled" canard, citing numerous examples of studies debunking the global warming scam by some of the world's most respected scientists, the media decided that the truth must be kept from American people and ignored his groundbreaking speech." (Philip V. Brennan, NewsMax)

An Interview with Joe Bastardi -- Update: In Joe Bastardi's column from Wednesday night he voices his frustration about the idea that global warming is being blamed for so many disasters lately. An interesting read....here it is (AccuWeather)

SEC Petitioned to Require Companies to Disclose Risk of Global Warming Regulation; Free Enterprise Action Fund Says Companies Risk Earnings While Keeping Shareholders in the Dark - WASHINGTON, Oct. 30 -- The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) should take immediate steps to require publicly-owned corporations to reveal the potential harm caused by global warming regulations on earnings and shareholder value, says the Free Enterprise Action Fund (Ticker: FEAOX), a publicly-traded mutual fund.

"Many corporations supporting greenhouse gas regulations have failed to warn shareholders about the ongoing and future harmful consequences these regulations pose to future earnings," said Steve Milloy, a FEAOX portfolio manager.

Surprisingly, only five of the twenty-one members of the U.S. Climate Action Partnership (USCAP), a lobbying group supporting global warming regulation and cap-and-trade schemes, have disclosed in their annual SEC filings that limits on greenhouse gas emissions pose a business risk. (PRNewswire-USNewswire)

"Labor sees the light on next Kyoto phase" - "IT came direct from Kevin Rudd's mouth: the Labor Party cannot commit to ratify a post-2012 second Kyoto period unless Australia's conditions are met.

Having spent 10 years of worship at the symbolic altar of Kyoto, Labor is suddenly selling a very different message. It is the opposite message: Kyoto has become conditional. Its sanctification is coming to an end." (The Australian)

"Closing the climate change policy gap: Labor finally admits the Government was right all along" - "THE uncomfortable facts about climate change have forced Labor to admit the inconvenient truth about its own position on global warming. If Labor wins office, Mr Rudd may find himself in the same position for which Labor has long criticised the Howard Government, refusing to ratify a post-Kyoto agreement because it does not include developing nations such as China and India." (The Australian)

"Rudd seeks climate control" - "KEVIN Rudd has tried to restore order to Labor's chaotic climate change policy by "absolutely" refusing to ratify the post-Kyoto agreement unless China and India sign on." (The Australian)

Funny spoof: Kevin Rudd - Chinese Propaganda Video:

"Labor's beds are burning" - "I DON'T know if global warming will destroy the earth, but it is already frying brains.

Check out Peter Garrett's.

Labor's environment spokesman has got the faith so bad - saying Labor would sign a deal to slash our emissions even if bigger countries wouldn't - that Labor's leader, Kevin Rudd, had to shoot him.

Which makes two frontbenchers that Rudd has executed for saying precisely what Rudd himself has said.

Now there's a sign of a leader who is making it up as he goes along, and is so hungry for power that he'll say anything and ditch anyone.

But it's also a sign that when it comes to global warming, Labor hasn't a clue how to make the huge but useless cuts in emissions it has promised without bleeding us dry.

What a farce." (Andrew Bolt, Herald Sun)

Stupid is as stupid does: "Corzine signs climate change pact" - "LISBON, Portugal -- Governor Corzine dashed across the Atlantic on Monday to join an international coalition that is waging a battle against global warming — and to vault New Jersey into the forefront of the fight.

Corzine says he was compelled to make a deal with European nations — signing New Jersey up for a system that trades pollution credits for energy savings — because the federal government hasn’t effectively confronted the looming threat to American lives and livelihoods.

“The penalties of inaction grow more severe and more irreversible each day, and I am quite certain that if we do not meet this challenge, the alternative is too hard to imagine,” Corzine told a gathering of European officials and some representatives from North America.

Corzine signed onto a pact with Britain, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Spain that supporters say confronts head-on the growth of greenhouse gas emissions. Other members of the new International Carbon Action Partnership are California, New York and British Columbia.

“We are enthusiastic signers of this partnership that will really attack this issue of global climate change,” the governor said on a warm and breezy day in Portugal’s capital city." (North Jersey)

"Media’s New Motto: All Societal Problems Caused by Global Warming" - "As America ends a second consecutive below-average hurricane season since Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth" incorrectly forecast greater and stronger tropical storms due to global warming, it's become apparent that media are trying new strategies to scare the public into believing the hysteria." (News Busters)

Oh boy... "Rhode Island readies for sea-level rise" - "A prominent climate change expert has praised Rhode Island’s Coastal Resources Management Council (CRMC) for being one of the first state agencies to draft regulations preparing for sea-level rise." (Block Island Times)

... Michael Oppenheimer. At least at Princeton he's toned down somewhat from claiming 200-foot sea level rises as he did during the 20+ years he spent with Environmental Defense (then EDF). Not that his current nitwittery is any less damaging.

"Arctic Sea-Ice: Another Hockey Stick?" - "This figure, labeled as “Sea-ice Extent: Northern Hemisphere” was presented by Al Gore in the book version of his science (fiction) movie An Inconvenient Truth. But is this depiction of the Arctic sea ice extent over the course of the 20th century even close to reality?

Probably not. (WCR)

"Evidence Of Cooling?" - "As tropical storm Noel heads for the U.S., we recall how we were warned that global warming would increase the number and power of hurricanes. Yet the 2007 season is the mildest in 30 years." (IBD)

"Balloon changes may hurt forecasting: New location, sensor could reduce accuracy" - "Decades of careful local weather record keeping and the ability to predict monsoon thunderstorms may have been compromised by changes in the way data are collected from twice-daily weather-balloon launches, a National Weather Service veteran says.

In June, the Tucson weather service branch began making its twice-daily weather-balloon launches from its headquarters on the University of Arizona campus, rather than from Tucson International Airport. It had used the airport launch site for several decades.

At the same time, the local branch began using a new type of radio sonde — the electronic device that transmits temperature, humidity, pressure and other readings back to the local office at regular intervals as the weather balloon rises to 50,000 feet or more.

Making both changes at once compounds the changes' effects on the data, says Bob Maddox, a veteran Air Force and NWS meteorologist who retired in Tucson.

Maddox and Mike Leuthold, a UA research meteorologist who uses the weather service's local data, say the loss of the historic context caused by the change in location and equipment could complicate weather forecasting, particularly where humidity is a critical variable. It could also set back efforts to understand how the monsoon works in the Tucson area, research that could one day help predict where and when severe storms will strike." (Arizona Daily Star)

NO "Consensus" on "Man-Made" Global Warming (Popular Technology)

"Global warming or paranoia?" - “One should never extrapolate about climate change from any single weather event or season,” writes New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman this Sunday before devoting his entire column to doing exactly that." (Henry Payne, Planet Gore)

"Climate change is not man-made: farmers" - "Most farmers believe climate change is a natural phenomenon and not man-made, senior delegates to a farmers' conference say.

NSW Farmers Association (NFA) executive councillors Howard Crozier and Ian McClintock's comments were applauded by the 60 fellow NFA councillors at their bi-annual meeting in Sydney on Tuesday.

The pair say they do not accept the widely endorsed Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) finding that man-made carbon emissions are the main cause of global warming.

They rely on what they say is an emerging and eminent alternative school of climate change research which says global warming is almost entirely a natural occurrence." (AAP)

Despite the idiot title... "Aust won't be hit by climate change tsunamis: research" - "ELEANOR HALL: When it comes to the threats menacing the planet it's rare to hear any good news but scientists gathering in Melbourne to discuss the risk to Australia of extreme natural events will receive some today.

Early modelling has shown that tsunamis may affect neighbouring countries but that Australian shores are not likely to be battered by massive waves." (Australian Broadcasting Corp.)

... the interviewees do not associate tsunamis with gorebull warming.

"Merkel Asks India to Do More on Climate Change" - "NEW DELHI - German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged India, one of the world's biggest polluters, to do more to combat climate change on Tuesday, saying her country was willing to help New Delhi make progress." (Reuters)

"Germany to Use CO2 Funds to Help Developing Nations" - "LUXEMBOURG - Germany will use part of the proceeds it gets from selling carbon permits to industry from 2008 to help support the fight against climate change in developing nations, Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel said." (Reuters)

"Third Phase of EU Carbon Trading to go Through 2020" - "LUXEMBOURG - The third phase of the European Union's emissions trading scheme will run from 2013 to 2020, an official said on Tuesday, as EU ministers prepared for a crucial round of international climate change talks." (Reuters)

Why? So they can pretend all by themselves?

"Western Canada's Glaciers Hit 7000-Year Low" - "Tree stumps at the feet of Western Canadian glaciers are providing new insights into the accelerated rates at which the rivers of ice have been shrinking due to human-aided global warming." (Geological Society of America)

Been warming and glaciers have been retreating since the end of the last great glaciation, eh? There's a shock.

From CO2 Science this week:

Seventeen Years of Enriching Sour Orange Trees with CO2: What was learned from the longest such tree experiment conducted to date?

Medieval Warm Period Record of the Week:
This issue's Medieval Warm Period Record of the Week comes from the Florida Everglades, USA. To access the entire Medieval Warm Period Project's database, click here.

Subject Index Summary:
Hurricanes (Pacific Ocean): How much more frequent and powerful have they become, now that the earth has recovered from the global chill of the Little Ice Age?

Plant Growth Data:
This week we add new results (blue background) of plant growth responses to atmospheric CO2 enrichment obtained from experiments described in the peer-reviewed scientific literature for: Cotton, Narrowleaf Plantain, Narrowleaf Plantain/Tall Fescue Mixture, and Tall Fescue.

Journal Reviews:
The ABCs of Global Warming: The temperature rise is not all due to greenhouse gases.

1400 Years of Climate Variability in the Gulf of Mexico: Closing in on a solar-induced global Medieval Warm Period at least as warm as today.

The Progressive Nitrogen Limitation Hypothesis: An important new analysis of four forest FACE studies proves the concept's undoing.

Forest Response to Predicted CO2-Induced Climate Change in the Tianshan Mountains of China: What are the individual growth enhancements provided by the predicted changes in CO2, temperature, and precipitation? ... and what is the overall response to the simultaneous increases in all three factors?

Effects of Rising Atmospheric CO2 Concentrations on Growth and Nitrogen Fixation in Trichodesmium: What are they? ... and what are their implications?

Doniphan, MOTemperature Record of the Week:
This issue's Temperature Record of the Week is from Doniphan, MO. During the period of most significant greenhouse gas buildup over the past century, i.e., 1930 and onward, Doniphan's mean annual temperature has cooled by 2.32 degrees Fahrenheit. Not much global warming here! (co2science.org)

"Researcher finds speed bumps add to greenhouse woes" - "Speed bumps - a Band-Aid solution for bad street planning - not only fuel drivers' tempers and create noise pollution, they add greenhouse gases to the air we breathe, says a new federal housing agency report." (Kathryn Young, CanWest News Service)

Biofuels: a tale of special interests and subsidies

Energy security and climate change are two of the most significant challenges confronting humanity. What we see, in response, is the familiar capture of policymaking by well-organised special interests. A superb example is the flood of subsidies for biofuels. These are farm programmes masquerading as answers to energy insecurity and climate change. Not surprisingly, they have the depressing characteristics of such programmes: high protection, open-ended support to producers, and indifference to economic rationality.

Already the support in members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development costs about $13bn to $15bn a year. But this sum generates much less than 3 per cent of the overall supply of liquid transport fuel. To bring the biofuel share to 30 per cent, as some propose, would cost at least $150bn a year and probably more, as marginal costs rose.

Someone needed to take a close look at the rationality of all these supports. An excellent report from the Global Subsidies Initiative of the International Institute for Sustainable Development does just that*. It does not tell a pretty story. (Martin Wolf, Financial Times)

"Wind Power's other unreliability problem" - "People have written at length concerning the numerous failings, weakness and drawbacks of the government push for wind power. Most feel that the greatest weakness of windpower is its unreliability or, more accurately, its intermittency.

A second reliability problem has drawn little attention despite an worthwhile feature story that ran in Business Week in August." (Sterling Burnett, Planet Gore)

"Renewable Energy Australia" - "Given the extravagant election promises regarding reductions of greenhouse emissions and greater renewable energy, does it come a surprise that the percentage of electricity coming from renewable resources has less than halved in the last 40 years? I guess not." (Gust of Hot Air)

"Sustainable development a huge failure in Canada: audit" - "A decade-old plan to introduce sustainable development strategies and green thinking into the Canadian government's daily work has failed miserably, the environment commissioner said Tuesday.

The 1997 plan "to encourage government departments to green their policies and programs" has become a "major disappointment," said environment commissioner Ron Thompson, releasing his annual audit.

"We have found little evidence that the strategies have encouraged departments to integrate protection of the environment with economic and social issues in a substantive or meaningful way," he said." (AFP)

"Preventing malaria in endemic areas" - "About 40% of the world's population, most of whom live in the poorest countries, are at risk from malaria. In Africa alone, malaria kills nearly a million children each year. Although we have the tools to fight malaria, such as insecticides for indoor residual spraying, environmentalist campaigns and some ill conceived decisions on public health policy have limited their use." (British Medical Journal)

Support the campaign against DDT scaremongering with a DDT T-shirt!
Only available from the JunkScience.com Store

"Update: European Union Commission ban on MRIs postponed" - "Leading scientists were able to convince the European Union Commission of the lack of scientific evidence behind its Directive that would have outlawed the use of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for patients beginning this spring. JFS readers will remember that fears over electromagnetic fields had led to a Directive setting ‘safe’ exposures so low that they would have made MRIs illegal.

The EU has announced a four-year postponement — until April 30, 2012 — to allow time to consider the scientific research." (Junkfood Science)

"My extra muffin is my business, not yours" - "Our columnist on the bizarre direction of the obesity debate" (Daniel Finkelstein, London Times)

"Herbs and healthy livers" - "The pursuit of optimal nutrition, ‘wellness’ and slim bodies has become fertile ground for the marketing of products, diets and regimens that promise “a lifetime of good health.” Herbal and natural dietary and weight loss supplements can be alluring because they may seem safe. Three new studies, however, have documented liver toxicity among healthy people using natural herbal supplements — more than 20 cases were just among Herbalife customers in two small countries." (Junkfood Science)

"EU Clashes on Order for Austria to Lift GMO Bans" - "LUXEMBOURG - EU ministers failed to agree on Tuesday whether to order Austria to lift its bans on two genetically modified (GMO) maize types, passing the final decision back to the European Commission, officials said." (Reuters)

October 30, 2007

"Green proxies to be red hot this season" - "Move over, Al Gore. With a record-breaking number of environmental proxy proposals filed in 2007, shareholder groups are gearing up to blitz companies with even more green proposals in 2008. This year, more than 80 environmental proposals were filed with public companies, 43 of them specific to climate change compared with 31 in 2006. Environmental advocacy groups such as Ceres and the Social Investment Forum say they are now preparing for an even bigger season in 2008, feeling chuffed from what they see as an increase in shareholder support for such proposals and growing willingness by managers to negotiate changes before a proxy vote." (Financial Week)

Move over Al Gore? He might be talking a good game but he seems to have more sense than to invest that way:

Ozone Man ripping off would be 'green' investors? Al Gore's Inconvenient Stock Portfolio Exposed; SEC Filing Raises Questions About the "Sustainability" of Generation Investment Management's $438 Million Investment Fund, says JunkScience.com

Washington, DC, October. 30, 2007 – Government filings by Al Gore’s investment management firm, Generation Investment Management (GIM), indicate that the Nobel Peace Prize winner may be “talking the talk” but not “walking the walk” when it comes to investing in so-called “sustainable” businesses.

“Despite its widely publicized rhetoric, the Gore firm’s stock portfolio looks to be that of an ordinary diversified mutual fund,” said JunkScience.com publisher Steve Milloy. “If this is ‘sustainable’ investing, then it is a meaningless term,” Milloy said.

"Watchdog in eco-spruiking inquiry" - "GREEN marketing claims on carbon offset schemes and other eco-branded products will be investigated by the consumer watchdog, which has received a growing number of complaints from individuals and companies." (The Australian)

Something else we aren't too flash at forecasting: 2007 Yearly Tropical Cyclone Activity to Date (Ryan N. Maue, Florida State University)

INHOFE, BOXER DEBATE GLOBAL WARMING ON SENATE FLOOR - Inhofe Welcomes Debate, Refutes Boxer’s Attacks

WASHINGTON, DC - Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, immediately responded on the Senate floor today to Senator Boxer's rebuttal of his floor speech from last Friday, October 26, 2007, in which he provided the very latest in peer-reviewed studies, analyses, and data error discoveries which are debunking man-made global warming fears. Senator Inhofe welcomed today's debate and delivered the following statement on the Senate Floor to address the issues raised by Senator Boxer about his speech and further addressed the devastating economic impact of enacting draconian legislation on the American people that would have no climate gain." (EPW)

"Kyoto-Style Bill Rushing Quietly Through Senate" - "Just last week conservatives cheered obvious progress in derailing the bipartisan push to quietly adopt the sovereignty-eroding Law of the Sea Treaty or “LOST” that would collectivize the world’s seabed resources (covering 70% of the earth’s surface), among other undesirable things. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell joined a rump group of pro-sovereignty Senators led by Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) and Trent Lott (R-Miss.) to tell the White House that this is one “legacy” item that they should give up on. Their message was echoed by Republican presidential candidates Fred Thompson and Mitt Romney.

Given that LOST would also impose a version of the Kyoto Protocol on the U.S. it is unsurprising that its backers immediately signaled an effort to quickly advance legislation, again without scrutiny, imposing Kyoto-style energy emission rationing." (Christopher C. Horner, Human Events)

Several people have queried why we didn't cover this (because it's merely weather) but TRF has obliged: "Resurrection of Austria's doomed ski resorts" - "Last year, we would be reading dozens of articles arguing that ski resorts in the Alps are doomed because of climate change. For example, The New York Times wrote in December 2006:

This season is certainly shaping up as a nonclassic, but it may be a milestone of another kind. The record warmth — in some places autumn temperatures were three degrees Celsius above average — has brought home the profound threat of climate change to Europe’s ski industry.

If venturing outdoors without a jacket is not enough evidence, there are two new studies — one that says the Alps are the warmest they have been in 1,250 years and another that predicts that an increase of a few more degrees would leave most Alpine resorts with too little snow to survive.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, which sponsored the second study, stopped short of predicting ruin for Europe’s ski industry. But Bruno Abegg, a researcher at the University of Zurich who was involved in it, said low-lying resorts faced an insuperable problem. "Let’s put it this way,” he said. “I wouldn’t invest in Kitzbühel."

Well, the warming comrade has missed a pretty good investment. Snow has returned to the doomed ski resorts. They opened one month earlier than planned. Some slopes already hold more than one meter of snow.

Where does this miraculous change come from? It is called the weather. Although it may sound incredible, sometimes it is warm and sometimes it is cold." (The Reference Frame)

The EU can stop getting excited... "Garrett's blunder on Kyoto" - "PETER Garrett's political credentials were in tatters last night after Kevin Rudd forced his environment spokesman to issue a humiliating clarification of Labor's greenhouse gas policy.

The backdown came after a Labor crisis meeting, which followed a day of sustained assault by John Howard and senior ministers on Mr Garrett's approach to a new post-Kyoto climate accord.

Mr Garrett started the day by committing a Labor government to signing a new global agreement on greenhouse gas emissions targets that might not include developing nations, such as China and India.

Last night, Mr Garrett issued a statement, reversing his position.

The Opposition Leader had initially endorsed Mr Garrett's statement, drawing fire from senior government ministers, who accused Labor of destroying Australia's position on climate change and threatening jobs." | Fiasco exposes Labor weakness (The Australian)

... even if the Howard Government falls in November, Labor cannot blindly sign onto suicidal Kyoto emissions caps.

"New Research Suggests that Emissions Reductions May Be a Risky and Very Expensive Way to Avoid Dangerous Global Climate Changes" (.pdf) - "Abstract: Proponents of greenhouse gas emissions reductions have long assumed that such reductions are the best approach to global climate change control and sometimes argued that they are the least risky approach. It is now generally understood that to be effective such reductions would have to involve most of the world and be very extensive and rapidly implemented. This paper examines the question of whether it is feasible to use only this approach to control dangerous global climate changes, the most critical of the climate change control objectives. I show that in one of two critical cases analyzed recent papers provide evidence that such an approach is not a feasible single approach to avoiding the dangerous climate changes predicted by a very prominent group of US climate change researchers. In the other case using a widely accepted international standard I show that such an approach appears to be very risky and much more expensive than previously thought. These conclusions further reinforce previous research that emissions reductions alone do not appear to be an effective and efficient single strategy for climate change control. So although emissions reductions can play a useful role in climate change control, other approaches would appear to be needed if dangerous climate changes are to be avoided. This conclusion suggests that the current proposals in a number of Western European countries and the United States to use emissions reductions as the sole means to control global warming may be doomed to failure in terms of avoiding such dangerous changes. An alternative approach is briefly discussed that would be more effective and efficient, and could avoid the perilous risks and high costs inherent in an emissions reduction only approach." (Alan Carlin, US Environmental Protection Agency)

Stupid reporting of the moment: "Malaria moves in behind the loggers" - "Deforestation and climate change are returning the mosquito-borne disease to parts of Peru after 40 years" (The Guardian)

Apart form malaria not being temperature-dependent Vidal's own leader destroys his wished-for "global warming" association. With the parasite returning after 40 years then it very obviously hasn't needed the alleged warming of the last three decades to do so, has it, since it was present in cooler periods. What it really indicates is a need for vector suppression around logging camps and some decent medical support for loggers so they do not reintroduce malaria where it was previously eradicated (or died out for lack of hosts). That's the problem with this absurd gorebull warming fixation -- it blinds people to real problems and practical solutions.

Every dill has to get into the act! "Global warming may hit kids harder, pediatrics group says" - "Global warming is likely to disproportionately harm the health of children, and politicians should launch "aggressive policies" to curb climate change, the American Academy of Pediatrics said today.

In the first major report about the unique effects of global warming on kids, U.S. pediatricians also were advised to "educate" elected officials about the coming dangers." (Marilyn Elias, USA TODAY)

And just what, might we ask, is the correct global temperature for raising children?

Can ambulance-chasing lawyers now advertise class actions for children whose health must have suffered because their parents did not move to whatever climate zone the AAP decides is ideal for kid cooking?

No? Then what is the matter with these twits? Kids have been successfully (read: healthily) raised from the tropics to the Arctic Circle, from the deserts to the bayous and now they want to claim an ideal global mean temperature"? A notion, by the way, which means exactly zip unless you live at that mythical place "Global Mean".

Is there no end to gorebull warming silliness?

"Unprecedented global measurement network achieves full coverage of oceans" - "An array of instruments, many built at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, that allows scientists to observe the basic physical state of all world oceans simultaneously is approaching its coverage goal after eight years of deployments.

The Argo network of sensor-bearing profiling floats measures ocean water temperature, salinity and velocity to a degree never before possible. The Argo Steering Committee, the international panel of scientists that manage the network, has designated Nov. 1 as the date on which it will reach its full deployment of 3,000 units. The deployment of these final floats will mean that data from every ocean region in the world will be available with average coverage of one sensor per 3 degrees latitude and longitude." (University of California - San Diego)

This is an excellent effort and soon we'll have some baseline data. If the effort is maintained then in a mere century or two we should have a much clearer picture of ocean cycles and trends.

"Britain Says May Propose Deeper Carbon Cuts" - "LONDON - Britain held out the possibility on Monday of deeper reductions to its carbon emissions than the 60 percent cut by 2050 it has already announced, saying it would seek the advice of a new watchdog on whether to go further." (Reuters)

"Benn announces 'stronger' climate change bill" - "The government today announced a "stronger, more effective and more transparent" climate change bill, following a period of public consultation and scrutiny." (Guardian Unlimited)

"Government accused over emissions bill" - "Green groups and opposition politicians rounded on the government yesterday for not imposing tighter limits on carbon emissions in its amendment to the climate change bill - and claimed that airlines and shipping firms, two of the biggest polluters, had been let off the hook." (The Guardian)

"Significant Urban Heat Island in Melbourne" - "We showed previously how much Melbourne temperatures have been increasing. But how much of this is due to global warming and how much is due to the fact that it is situated near a 6 lane road, high skyscrapers and street lights lighting it up at night?

Well we can actually compare Melbourne to Laverton, which is just a good 15 minute drive from the Melbourne site. Whilst we don't expect the two to follow suit exactly, with only a small driving distance between them we should expect only small white noise errors if there was no problem with urban warming.

Unfortunately this is not what we get. Starting from 1955, shown below is the difference between Melbourne and Laverton temperature anomalies for average temperature (average of max and min)." (Gust of Hot Air)

Perhaps we'd better explain... "TAKING CO2 SERIOUSLY" - "Life is deadly. All living things that breathe oxygen burn their food and emit poisonous CO2 as a pollutant. With every breath they contribute to the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere, and, hence, to global warming. And yet, for all the frantic formulas floating around aimed at the reduction of CO2 emissions, particularly through limitations on the burning of fossils fuels (dead living things), little attention has been paid to this obvious other source (still living things). Rough calculations suggest that CO2 emissions from the burning of fossil fuels are dwarfed by the emissions from these living things, including human beings. Emissions from human metabolism alone, assuming a world population of six billion people and an averaging of their state of activity, are estimated to be equivalent to approximately half of 1990 fossil fuel emissions. Add to these human sources the CO2 emissions from all other creatures on the planet, including plants which respire as well as photosynthesize, and the total amount of emissions from living things is staggering." (David F. Noble and Denis G. Rancourt, Activist Climate Guy)

... since this piece of satire has been brought to our attention a few times and is currently exciting another little flurry of attention. While we have had some fun in the past pointing to the exhalations of the UK population it's a joke -- there is no net increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide from respiration, just a trivial change in the natural cycling rate. We expect people to have a little chuckle when we slip in such items, our small contribution to alleviating the perpetual doom and gloom of ecochondria and we think you should do the same as these Left-wing nuts do likewise.

Smile or roll your eyes but these guys aren't serious, seriously.

"Where cooler heads prevail" - "Is there really anything new to be said about climate change? Hasn't the issue become the public-policy equivalent of Groundhog Day, with the same arguments playing out in the same way every week?

Perhaps there is. The weary and repetitive character of the climate-change debate is masking a number of fundamental changes now taking place that, 20 or 30 years from now, are likely to be recognized as the turning point on the issue. Despite the relentless media and advocacy-group frenzy, the case for catastrophic global warming is fraying around the edges. The alarmists have found themselves suddenly hoisted by their own petard, as the latest massive report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) noticeably reined in its predictions of future doom and gloom (less sea-level rise, lower temperature rise, admissions of serious problems in its climate models, and so forth). Having thumped skeptics about ignoring the IPCC-certified "consensus," the alarmists are now criticizing the IPCC for being "too conservative." Increasingly it appears that the problem of climate change is likely to be more modest and manageable than the heated rhetoric would have you imagine, just as the apocalyptic 1960s predictions of the "population bomb" turned out to be wrong." (Steven F. Hayward, National Review)

"More Hysterical Claims Bush Censoring Climate Change Information" - "Do you find it amazing that the same media doing everything possible to ignore global warming skeptics whilst almost exclusively focusing attention on entities advancing climate change hysteria (i.e. Al Gore) are constantly accusing the Bush administration of censorship regarding this issue?" (News Busters)

"'Today' Tries Carbon-Belching Publicity Stunt for Global Warming Awareness" - "Lauer, Roker and Curry travel to extremes 'to find out what's going on with the world's climate.'" (Jeff Poor, Business & Media Institute)

"The Fires This Time" - "Blame California's mega-fires on global warming. Or at least that's what Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said last week in the Hill.

Global warming affords endless opportunities to test glib hypotheses by politicians who have no training whatsoever in fields of which they claim pontifical knowledge. And Reid's statement is easy to test." (Patrick J. Michaels, American Spectator)

Uncomfortably plausible: "California Wildfire Victims Face Fines" - "[Sacramento, CA] As the devastating fires of Southern California finally succumb to the heroic efforts of 8,000 firefighters, weary and broken survivors return to their homes to assess losses and rebuild if they can. They may have a nasty surprise waiting for them, though... millions in environmental fines.

California's Attorney General reportedly plans to collect millions of dollars from wildfire victims and effected counties in order to buy carbon credits, offsetting the damage the blaze caused to the environment.

Critics say that this is not the first time that Attorney General Jerry Brown of California, listed as Edmund G. Brown Jr. on the official website, has pushed his environmental agenda using his position as AG. Since taking office in January of 2008 Brown has prosecuted and sued his way to controversy over a number of 'earth-friendly' issues." (OfficialNewsAgency.com)

In the virtual realm: "Human-generated ozone will damage crops" - "An MIT study concludes that increasing levels of ozone due to the growing use of fossil fuels will damage global vegetation, resulting in serious costs to the world's economy." (MIT)

I haven't just seen the complete study, specifically what emission scenarios were used, but most such are as ridiculous as IPCC storylines and thus of no value to anyone.

"US Survey Ties Biofuels to High Food Costs, Hunger" - "CINCINNATI - Six in 10 Americans believe the use of corn to make ethanol has raised food prices and caused more people to go hungry, the latest evidence of a growing global backlash against alternative "green" fuels." (Reuters)

"Windy claims for wind farms exposed" - "The latest VENCorp annual planning report has yet more bad news for wind farms." (Gust of Hot Air)

"No real alternative to oil: Rise in demand seems unavoidable" - "PARIS: During the early 1930s, when oil prospecting in the Gulf was in its infancy, George Lees, chief geologist for the Anglo Persian Oil Company, proclaimed that he would drink all the commercial oil that might be discovered in Bahrain.

In recent years, Bahrain has produced around 185,000 barrels a day - modest by regional standards, but not easy to drink.

The story resonates with those who are optimistic about the prospects for future oil supply." (IHT)

"Mud, sweat and tears" - "The vast tar sands of Alberta in Canada hold oil reserves six times the size of Saudi Arabia's. But this 'black gold' is proving a mixed blessing for the frontier town of Fort McMurray, fuelling both prosperity and misery. As the social and environmental toll mounts, Aida Edemariam reports on the dark side of a boom town." (The Guardian)

"Amazonian Swindle" - "Daryl Hannah goes to Ecuador and gets in over her head." (Bret Stephens, Opinion Journal)

Gotta admit they've done a good job of deceiving people into believing CO2 is "pollution": "Opposition takes on coal plants" - "BLAKELY, Ga. — Sammy Prim says he always thought environmentalists were "a little bit nutty."

Then a New Jersey-based utility, LS Power, decided to build a $2 billion coal-fired power plant here, just a few miles across the Chattahoochee River from his rural Alabama home. If built, it could emit up to 9 million tons of carbon dioxide, the primary gas blamed for global warming, every year." (Bobby Carmichael, USA TODAY)

And if they can't stop power generation through gorebull warming scares just move on to the old standby nonsense: "Power plants are focus of drive to cut mercury" - "Despite decades of government attempts to regulate it, ban it and erase it from household use, the poisonous metal mercury remains a threat to the environment and public health, especially to children and to women of childbearing age." (Larry Wheeler, Gannett News Service)

"Insecticide Spraying a Must Against Malaria" - " A few countries in Africa, especially in southern Africa, have started campaigns to spray pesticides on the insides of houses. Experts say it can be extremely effective in curbing the mosquitoes that spread malaria when used alongside other strategies, including distribution of insecticide-treated bed nets, widespread medical treatment, and preventative drugs for pregnant women.

But the campaigns have been slow to spread among developing countries, and are almost non-existent in West Africa.

Senegalese doctor and Africare health coordinator More Ngom says spraying fills gaps in the protection offered by insecticide-treated bed nets." (Naomi Schwarz, Voice of America)

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"'Microplastics' may pose previously unrecognized pollution threat" - "Microscopic particles of plastic debris that litter marine environments may pose a previously unrecognized threat to marine animals by attracting, holding, and transporting water pollutants, a new study by British researchers is reporting. It is scheduled for the Nov. 15 issue of ACS' Environmental Science & Technology." (ACS)

Moonbat's haunted... "Civilisation ends with a shutdown of human concern. Are we there already?" - "A powerful novel's vision of a dystopian future shines a cold light on the dreadful consequences of our universal apathy" (George Monbiot, The Guardian)

... and coming up Halloween, too! How appropriate. Actually, we've long suspected George suffered from a bit of a reality problem and his reaction to a novel hardly dispels that impression.

"Dinosaur Deaths Outsourced to India?" - "A series of monumental volcanic eruptions in India may have killed the dinosaurs 65 million years ago, not a meteor impact in the Gulf of Mexico. The eruptions, which created the gigantic Deccan Traps lava beds of India, are now the prime suspect in the most famous and persistent paleontological murder mystery, say scientists who have conducted a slew of new investigations honing down eruption timing." (Geological Society of America)

"Experts Debunk Media Myth That Americans Lag in Science and Math" - "Americans have fallen behind in science in math and can't compete globally, right? Well, not according to Vivek Wadhwa's October 26 BusinessWeek article, which the media have conveniently ignored." (News Busters)

"Junk Food or Junk Science? (Round 1)" - "In my post complaining about the food police, I approvingly quoted Jeff, a reader who argued for our right to order what we want at McDonald’s even though we know it’s unhealthy. That prompted a rejoinder from Gary Taubes, the author of “Good Calories, Bad Calories” (which I wrote about in a Findings column about cascades)." (John Tierney, New York Times)

“Adults today are more active than their parents were” - "When it comes to exercise, we believe more is better and moderation is rarely mentioned in the same breath. We are told that exercise is a win-win situation and that getting everyone to exercise 60 to 90 minutes a day will guarantee better health and reduce healthcare costs. This belief forgets the other side of the calculation: the growing costs resulting from overuse injuries and joint damage sustained during high-impact activities." (Junkfood Science)

"EU GM crop area expands" - "Genetically modified (GM) crops, all maize, were grown on more than 100,000ha (250,000 acres) in the EU last year – a 77% increase on the 2006 figure." (Farmers Weekly)

"EU environment ministers gear up for heated GMO debate" - "BRUSSELS – EU environment ministers are gearing up for a heated debate, which should conclude on the future of a ban on two GMO-maize varieties in Austria - something with great implications for the union's dispute on GMOs at the World Trade Organisation.

On Tuesday (30 October), the European Commission will once again propose that Austria be forced to drop its national ban on the import and processing into food and feed of two types of genetically modified maize - MON810 and T25 - in order to conform to WTO

All 27 environment ministers meeting in Luxembourg on Tuesday will subsequently vote on the issue, with the so-called qualified majority of votes needed to either adopt or reject the Brussels' proposal." (EUobserver)

October 29, 2007

A Hell Of A Scare - One of the joys of a Saturday remains reading Simon Hoggart’s column in The Guardian, and today he doesn’t disappoint: ‘Comic Vignettes and Miniature Kebabs’. He has a marvellous passage on the concept of ‘The Great Scare’ with some hellishly good observations: (Global Warming Politics)

Eye-roller: "California Wildfires and Global Warming" - "Across the West, Major Wildfires are More Frequent and Intense Due to Climate Change" (Dan Shapley, Daily Green)

Honest responses put most "blame" at the door of decades of fire suppression and fuel buildup for intense fires. Coupled with people placing assets in fire-prone regions you have a recipe for large, expensive fires...

"Man vs. Wild" - "The fires in Southern California -- now having damaged more than 1,700 homes and blackened more than 500,000 acres -- are mainly burning in chaparral and coastal sage scrub, the native vegetation of the canyons and mountains. Historically, fires in these ecosystems burned through an area every 35-100 years, part of a normal ecological cycle -- so-called "crown fires" that fully consumed the vegetation and began the growth process anew.

In Southern California, intense fire thus is natural. Since the 1960s, moreover, the central policy goal of environmentalism has been to restore nature, seemingly posing a direct conflict with the goal to curb or eliminate fire. In environmental thinking, it is humans who are unnatural. Within wilderness areas, the cathedrals of environmentalism, Congress in 1964 officially declared a federal policy to keep them "untrammeled by man."

In Southern California, however, fire has never fit well within this strict religious demarcation of man and nature. It might be harmless to let forest fires burn in remote wilderness areas, but even there the fires do not observe the boundaries drawn on maps. The National Park Service let the Yellowstone fires burn in 1988, but the fires then rapidly spread outside the park, eventually covering more than one million acres.

In the contentious aftermath, risk-averse bureaucrats -- who were also handsomely awarded with fire suppression money that Congress soon showered upon them -- have since sought to put out the great majority of spontaneous fires on federal lands. But they are limited in taking steps to prevent the fires in the first place, because this would often involve unnatural, and thus environmentally unacceptable, acts such as harvesting the timber in an area to remove the "excess fuels." (Robert H Nelson, Wall Street Journal)

"The Fires Next Time: Welcome to the Wildland Urban Interface." - "Cooler temperatures and weaker Santa Ana winds have enabled firefighters to gain a measure of control over the blazes in Southern California. And state officials are optimistic that the worst is behind them. But estimated property damage exceeds $1 billion--a result in part of too many people living in fire-prone areas.

As of Friday, some 700 square miles had burned, 1,600 homes had been destroyed and more than 500,000 people in San Diego County had been displaced. The national media have focused on the federal response, eager to compare it to the Hurricane Katrina fiasco of two years ago. However, local officials also deserve scrutiny. Fires in Southern California are a natural phenomenon, like tornadoes in Kansas and flooding in the Mississippi Delta. But public policy makers can and should put in place incentives to minimize the potential havoc.

A good first step would be to require state and local governments to foot more of the costs of fighting these fires. The U.S. Forest Service, which is part of the Department of Agriculture, is tasked with combating fires in national forests. But most of the agency's time and resources are spent protecting adjacent private property in what is known as the "wildland urban interface," or WUI for the fire cognoscenti." (Opinion Journal)

"Warming scares and wildfires" - "Columnist Paul Simons, at the London Times, is blaming global warming for the fires in southern California. He says that “much of the western US has been in drought for almost a decade. That has helped to stoke up the wildfires and much worse. Forget talk of what global warming might do in 50 years’ time -- large swaths of the West are parched dry as temperatures grow warmer....” Democratic Senator Harry Reid made similar claims: "One reason why we have the fires in California is global warming."

Of course the American west has been dry, very dry for centuries -- in fact it has been dry for as long as any humans have lived there and long before warming became an issue. Water has to be piped into the west and this has been happening for decades. The water system that pumps the water into the region is not a recent feature. As the Los Angeles Times reported scientists say it would be difficult to make the very case that Mr. Simons has tried to make, “given the dangerous mix of drought and wind that has plagued the regions for centuries or more.” Their headline was to the point: "Global warming not a factor in wildfires." (Classically Liberal)

"La Nina and the Oceans Are Behind The California Drought and Fires" - "While the networks and some politicians are implying global warming is to blame for the fires in the southwest, the unfortunate fires can be explained very nicely by natural factors. La Ninas are more frequent when the Pacific Decadal Oscillation is in its cold phase. The Pacific was in that phase from 1947 to 1977 and then briefly from 1998 to 2001 (with 3 of 4 years in La Nina). It has returned back to the cold phase in recent months and a moderate La Nina has ensued." (Joseph D’Aleo, CCM)

"La Ninas Bring More Severe Weather Outbreaks in Both Hemispheres?" - "When I was Dr. Dewpoint for Intellicast, I found and reported that the monthly records for most tornadoes from the fall through the spring were in La Nina years. The worst tornado outbreak, The Superoutbreak of 1974” came after one of the strongest La Ninas." (Icecap)

The UN, Eeyore, And Ecochondria - “O me, oh my!” Not another UN report predicting the end of the world as we know it. Malthus rides again. Neo-Malthus has clearly become the fifth man of the Apocalypse. Regrettably, there is also some poor, uncritical journalism on this, even by Mark Henderson in The Times. He, at least, normally exhibits more historical contingency. The interpretation of some of the figures is just bizarre. To take but one example: 75,000 people die from natural disasters per annum. If only that had always been the case! Historically, there have been many years in which we know that the death toll from natural disasters was in the millions - nay, over the 50 millions. Here are a few, just for the record: 1348; 1353; 1520; 1556 1917; 1929; and 1936. 75,000! Whilst regretting each individual death, we should be rejoicing at the low number, especially when you take total population into account. (Global Warming Politics)

"Malthus' Minions" - "Not content with its dubious fight over global warming, the United Nations now says humanity itself is causing irreversible environmental damage. Haven't we heard this kind of thing before?" (IBD)

Bizarre: "James Lovelock: Reducing emissions could speed global warming" - "A rapid cutback in greenhouse gas emissions could speed up global warming, the veteran environmental maverick James Lovelock will warn in a lecture today.

Prof Lovelock, inventor of the Gaia theory that the planet behaves like a single organism, says this is because current global warming is offset by global dimming - the 2-3ºC of cooling cause by industrial pollution, known to scientists as aerosol particles, in the atmosphere." (London Telegraph)

Ever more outrageous. IPCC AR4 WG1 reckoned on -0.5 Wm-2 for direct effect aerosols and roughly -0.75 Wm-2 for cloud albedo effect, which totaled even at the IPCC's absurdly high sensitivity of 0.75 ± 0.25 °C/Wm-2 only yields about a degree (impossibly high, of course, with a realistic value of about 0.1 °C). Lord only knows where Lovelock found the rest of the alleged cooling from aerosols but the IPCC sure doesn't know about it.

From the rubber room: "Rapid global warming will create famine and drought, Lovelock warns" - "Climate change is happening faster than anyone predicted and its consequences could be dire for the survival of civilisation in the 21st century because of the chaos it will cause in terms of famine, drought and mass migration, according to a leading scientist.

James Lovelock, the inventor of the Gaia theory, which likens the Earth to a living organism, will tell the the Royal Society in London this evening that humans have in effect declared war on the planetary survival system, causing it to explode out of control." (London Independent)

"It's too late for greenhouse gas cuts, says scientist" - "Cutting greenhouse gases and switching to sustainable development are unlikely to prevent disasters caused by climate change, one of the world's most respected environmentalists warns today.

Professor James Lovelock, the leading independent environmental scientist, claims that even the most pessimistic outcomes predicted by the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) fail to recognise the speed with which global warming will progress.

In a speech at the Royal Society, Prof Lovelock will describe how he has arrived at an "apocalyptic view" of the future, in which 6 to 8 billion people face diminishing food and water supplies in an increasingly intolerable climate." (The Guardian)

Oh... "Climate change cannot be bargained with" - "Our half-hearted measures are as dangerous as the 1930s appeasement of Hitler" (The Guardian)

... but Hitler actually existed as a threat whereas the populist notion of "climate change" (AGW, actually catastrophic anthropogenic enhanced-greenhouse but never mind) does not. Only the virtual realm of model-generated fantasy is at risk from AGW.

Partly right but for the wrong reasons: "SCIENCE: Earth climate is too complex to predict" - "SCIENCE magazine just published a critical review of climate models by Professors Gerald Roe and Marcia Baker of the University of Washington, Seattle. It is echoed in the New Scientist magazine (October 25). As New Scientist puts it, "Climate is too complex for accurate predictions."

The Roe and Baker article is a statistical analysis to see if any model of the climate can make useful predictions. It is called, "Why is Climate Sensitivity so Unpredictable?" (James Lewis, American Thinker)

No, we don't mean Lewis but rather the underlying study. It is not that Earth's climate sensitivity is so hard to work out but that models do such a poor job of representing Earth's climate that wiggle-fitting modelers "adjust" the sensitivity parameter defined by the IPCC: "The climate sensitivity parameter (global mean surface temperature response ΔTs to the radiative forcing ΔF) is defined as: ΔTs / ΔF = λ" and they do this to make their models' output match empirically-measured time series.

Using the values from Earth’s Annual Global Mean Energy Budget (Kiehl and Trenberth, 1997) produces a λ value of ~0.1 K per Wm-2, as does using values derived by Professor Roger Pielke, Sr. and this is in agreement with the sensitivity derived by Idso in eight natural experiments described in CO2-induced global warming: a skeptic’s view of potential climate change. (Climate sensitivity is described in greater detail here.)

Climate models, however, generally crash into representing ice age conditions with such low sensitivity parameter settings and so modelers use values 5-10 times higher to solve the problem of unstable unforced control runs. Sadly it is both easier and more lucrative to keep quiet about such a huge kludge overcooking the control runs and cry "crisis" on the basis of complete garbage output. What would be truly remarkable would be projected climate states that weren't wildly overcooked simply because the sensitivity parameter has been cranked off the scale.

Climate models are process models, quite useful for helping us work out what might drive some observed phenomena but worse than useless for predicting likely future climate states.

"Big Media only go green on warming" - "Al Gore hasn't secretly bought every mainstream media news outlet, has he?

Then why do so few journalists even pretend anymore to play fair, straight and skeptical on global warming?" (Bill Steigerwald, Tribune-Review)

2007 – Global Warming Alarmism Reaches A “Tipping Point” (Sen. James Inhofe, SPPI)

Inhofe slams DiCaprio and Laurie David for scaring kids in two-hour Senate speech debunking climate fears

"Climate change 'causes big health risks'" - "As global warming continues there will be more Australians dying from heart attacks and strokes, and more cases of asthma and food poisoning, a new report shows.

The Healthy Planet, Places and People Report, released on Monday by Research Australia, shows more Australians will die from the effects of climate change and the number of infectious diseases will significantly increase." (AAP)

Oh boy... people have colonized this planet from the frigid zones to the Sahara and everything in between. We tolerate changes of 20-30 °C in a 24-hour cycle and think nothing of it (unless you're from the tropics, when such changes would be a shock). People sure do have dopey ideas about "climate change".

"How serious are we about global warming?" - "GLOBAL warming warrior and new Nobel Laureate Al Gore went time travelling this week, imagining himself in conversation with our children and grandchildren as they reflect on 2007 - the year he is convinced will be pivotal to defining their future." (Jo Chandler, The Age)

Most likely future generations will either laugh or cry (or both) about the superstitious primitives panicking about trivial changes in atmospheric trace gases and their hubris thinking they can control climate by tweaking a few minor variables at the margins.

Certainly affects cloudiness: "Land clearing blamed for climate change" - "Land clearing has led to climate change in Australia, a University of Queensland-led report says.

UQ's Dr Clive McAlpine said their research showed the clearing of native vegetation had made Australian droughts hotter.

"Our findings highlight that it is too simplistic to attribute climate change purely to greenhouse gases," said Dr McAlpine of UQ's Centre for Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Science." (AAP)

UAHuntsville team joins study: What is happening along the bunny fence to keep rain off SW Australia's farmland?

The Bunny Fence Experiment In Western Australia - A Field Campaign To Better Understand The Role of Landscape As A Climate Forcing

"Be wary of climate policy development" - "Imagine you are an advocacy group and want to sway a government's policy development, but really want to keep your activism a secret. You could learn a lot by observing and then avoiding the practices of the Center for Climate Strategies, a group of global warming worrywarts.

CCS in recent years has approached many states, including Washington, with an inexpensive, tantalizing offer: to establish and manage a process for climate change policy development. The results are a study legitimized by government that promotes onerous regulations, property rights infringement through smart growth initiatives, and new taxes and fees on fuels and utilities." (Paul Chesser, Seattle P-I)

Twenty Twenty-Four  - The enormous telescreen flashed into life, accompanied by the percussive sounds of a-tonal music, dark and brooding. The Hate had started. (Global Warming Politics)

Now available in .html format online: Trenberth’s Twenty-Three Scientific Errors (Christopher Monckton of Brenchley)

"Africa: Low Yields 'Due to Wary Farmers, Not Climate Change'" - "Low crop yields in Africa is not due to climate change but rather farmers failing to exploit opportunities in wetter years, says a Kenya-based scientist.

Peter Cooper, principal scientist for Eastern and Southern Africa at the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) in Nairobi, argues that much of African society, particularly politicians and policy-makers, wrongly blames climate change for harvest irregularities." (SciDev.Net)

Killing Kyoto - I have just returned from speaking to over 300 members of the Women’s Institute, the WI. There was more common sense in that hall than in most of our politicians put together. And what a practical, down-to-earth approach they have towards ‘green’ issues. It is always a pleasure to be asked to address them. Some ‘superior’ folk, of course, like to play down the WI, because they have a membership largely of older women (not true these days anyway), whose views tend to be marginalised by ‘modern’ trendy society. I say give me their experience and values any day. By contrast, our political classes appear to have gone quite loopy (UHT milk indeed!). (Global Warming Politics)

Meanwhile: "Britain Needs Climate Change Minister - Report" - "LONDON - Britain should have a cabinet rank climate change minister and a powerful new coordinating body to manage its somewhat haphazard and conflicting climate policies, a parliamentary committee said on Monday." (Reuters)

"EU Cuts Industrial Carbon Emissions Quota 10 Pct" - "BRUSSELS - European industry will have to to emit 10 percent less carbon dioxide than governments had wanted from 2008-12, after the European Commission tried to put the bloc back on track to meet its Kyoto targets on Friday." (Reuters)

"EU: France, Britain to Propose Reduced Green VAT" - "BRUSSELS - France and Britain will make a proposal for reduced rates of value-added tax (VAT) on energy-efficient goods at a meeting of European Union finance ministers next month, the European Commission said on Friday." (Reuters)

"MPs call for 'super department' on climate change" - "A senior Minister should be given responsibility for leading Britain's effort to tackle the threat of global warming and made answerable to the public on the issue, MPs said today.

The Commons environmental audit committee called for urgent change following a decade of missed opportunities for the government to "rise fully" to the challenge of climate change.

It said Britain's likely failure to meet self-imposed targets to cut emissions by 20 per cent by 2010 was worrying, and warned that the country's international leadership on the issue could be undermined as a result." (London Independent)

What's worrying is not that Britain will not meet these self-imposed "targets" but that they would seriously attempt such self-harm.

"Warming Revives Flora and Fauna in Greenland" - "As the climate warms, Greenlandic farmers are experimenting with vegetables that have previously never been grown in the country." (New York Times)

"Less Arctic ice means higher risks, experts warn" - "The International Ice Charting Working Group predicts more marine transportation in the Arctic as sea ice continues to diminish and warns of "significant hazards to navigation," according to a statement released yesterday." (ESA)

"Settling on an unstable Alaskan shore: A warning unheeded" - "An intense storm struck the northwestern tip of Alaska during the fall of 1963. This storm caused over 3 million dollars in damage, primarily to the U.S. Government research camp that was located at Barrow, AK, as 55mph winds (gusting to 75mph) and waves topping 10 feet pushed a storm surge over the 10 foot high protective beach. The storm hit during an unusual ice-free period in early October—the primary reason why the seas grew to such damaging heights. During most months there, near shore sea ice coverage is sufficient to dampen (or prevent entirely) the build up of significant wave heights. James Hume and Marshall Schalk, described the damage from the 1963 storm in an article written for the journal Arctic in 1967 and based upon historical weather records and the recollection of Inuit elders, reckoned that the storm was about a “200 year” storm.

This storm, and others like it, should have served as ample warming against settling on the unstable coastline of much of Alaska. Instead, today we here repeated reports of recently-established native Alaskan villages having to be moved inland because of an encroaching ocean—and the culprit is always anthropogenic global warming, never lack of foresight." (WCR)

"Handicapping the Environmental Gold Rush" - "The green stampede is on.

As a global economy powered by cheap fossil fuel comes under intense pressure to change, corporate executives are racing to stay ahead of the tectonic shift in their world.

From Capitol Hill to California and Brussels to Beijing, multinational companies are stepping up their lobbying and tweaking their product lines in response to demands that they get more environmentally attuned. New companies -- even new industries -- are challenging the established giants to exploit a growing market for everything from green cars to green fuels.

And a host of middlemen have sprung up to make markets in new financial instruments created by the proliferation of green-oriented subsidies and mandates. All these players are jostling to shape the new government rules to give them the bulk of the benefit -- and hit someone else with the bulk of the burden. Ultimately, the cost will be passed on to consumers." (Jeffrey Ball, Wall Street Journal)

"Fearing Fuel" - "With oil reaching an all-time high of $92 a barrel, it's long past time for more investment in domestic production. Yet the Democratic Congress is keen on reducing investment with new taxes on oil companies." (IBD)

"Be a "Non-Flying Dutchman" to Avoid Climate Doom" - "AMSTERDAM - A Dutch environment group launched a campaign on Friday called "Proud to be a non-Flying Dutchman" to get the travel-happy Dutch to reduce their air miles for the sake of the climate." (Reuters)

Jim's all tipsy again: "No to coal: NASA climatologist calls for no more coal plants to avoid global warming tipping point." - "Before approving a costly and irreversible program to build a new generation of coal-fired power plants, Texas officials should carefully study the statements of James Hansen. He's the director of the New York City-based NASA Institute for Space Studies and one of the first scientists to speak out on the threat of global warming caused by man-made greenhouse gases." (Houston Chronicle)

"Coal Use Grows Despite Warming Worries" - "Almost nonstop, gargantuan 145-ton trucks rumble through China's biggest open-pit coal mine, sending up clouds of soot as they dump their loads into mechanized sorters.

The black treasure has transformed this once-isolated crossroads nestled in the sand-sculpted ravines of Inner Mongolia into a bleak boomtown of nearly 300,000 people. Day and night, long and dusty trains haul out coal to electric power plants and factories in the east, fueling China's explosive growth.

Coal is big, and getting bigger. As oil and natural gas prices soar, the world is relying ever more on the cheap, black-burning mainstay of the Industrial Revolution. Mining companies are racing into Africa. Workers are laying miles of new railroad track to haul coal from the Powder River Basin in Wyoming and Montana.

And nowhere is coal bigger than in China." (AP)

"Indonesia Seeks Allies for Pay-for-Forests Plan" - "The Indonesian government spent much of the past week recruiting countries to join it in pressing richer nations to provide incentives to reduce carbon emissions." (New York Times)

"UN Food Expert Seeks 5-Year Moratorium on Biofuels" - "UNITED NATIONS - The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to food called on Friday for a five-year moratorium on biofuels, saying it was a "crime against humanity" to convert food crops to fuel." (Reuters)

"The race for biofuels driving alternative sources of biomass" - "Researchers have been studying fuels from biomass for years. Now, with growing dependency on foreign oils and an energy-conscious society emerging, biofuels are fast becoming part of a fuel revolution that could reach pumps all across America." (Crop Science Society of America)

"Green Regs Cutting US Fuel Production - Tesoro" - "NEW YORK - Environmental rules cutting sulfur content in gasoline and diesel have made the US refining sector "much less reliable" and slashed domestic fuel production as prices soar, the chief economist of Tesoro Corp. said Thursday." (Reuters)

"Logging Is Part of a Plan to Preserve 161,000 Acres In the Adirondacks Purchased by a Conservation Group" - "After purchasing a vast unbroken wilderness in Adirondack Park which only loggers and a few hunters have ever seen, the Nature Conservancy will not preserve it all as public land." (New York Times)

"Vaccines and Autism" - "Dangerous vaccines that harm kids. An epidemic of disabled children, hurt by an uncaring medical establishment.

Sounds like a B-grade Hollywood thriller. But this is supposedly a true story as told by actress Jenny McCarthy, author of the best seller, "Louder Than Words: A Mother's Journey in Healing Autism."

When I heard Ms. McCarthy tell Oprah and Larry King that vaccines caused her son's autism, I had a flashback to a cold winter's night, 13 years ago. I was the senior pediatric resident on call in the Intensive Care Unit. Cradled in the arms of her parents, a seven-year-old girl was brought to the emergency room at Children's Hospital Boston. The girl had come down with chickenpox a few days earlier -- she had a fever and hundreds of itchy skin lesions. That night, she had taken a turn for the worse. Her fever shot up to 106 and she became confused and lethargic. She was unresponsive and limp in her mother's arms.

The ER doctors suspected that her open sores allowed Strep bacteria to get under her skin and rage through her bloodstream. Now she was in "multiple system organ failure" -- every square inch of her body was shutting down all at once. IVs were placed into her veins to start fluids, antibiotics and medications to stabilize her heart and blood pressure. She was placed on a ventilator machine to breathe. Then she was brought to the Intensive Care Unit.

By the time I met my patient, she had tubes coming out of every opening and weeping skin lesions all over her body. I was used to blood and gore, but it was hard to look at her and not cry. Imagine how her parents felt when they saw their once-beautiful little girl in this grotesque state, struggling to survive.

My attending physician told me to grab dinner. This child would need me for the rest of the night. I returned to the ICU to find that my patient had gone into cardiac arrest and died. I watched, helplessly, as the nurses placed the little girl into a body bag.

Fast forward five months: The first chickenpox vaccine was approved. That day, I vowed never to let a child on my watch suffer from a disease that was preventable by vaccination." (Ari Brown, Wall Street Journal) | For the access-impaired

Again... "Cut salt in food, Ottawa told" - "Urgent action is needed by government and industry to reduce sodium in foods eaten by Canadians, to prevent death and disability from stroke and heart disease, a coalition of health organizations said today." (CP)

"Epidemics by definition" - "There must be a health crisis to bring the greatest funding for research, treatments and education... even if an epidemic has to be created. One of the most common tactics is to change the definition. When diagnostic criteria is broadened, suddenly, with the stroke of a pen, new cases can appear to explode in number." (Junkfood Science)

"GI — more ‘bad carb’ myths" - "One of the more popularized beliefs is that you can give yourself type 2 diabetes by eating sugars or ‘bad carbs’ because they cause blood sugars and insulin levels to surge. No matter how many times researchers have shown this not to be the case, myths surrounding dietary sugars and carbohydrates, especially those that come in the color white, continue, with each generation 'refining' their explanations." (Junkfood Science)

"Being smart does not make one right" - "Question authority” was once the young people’s code, but it’s falling by the wayside as people of all ages more readily accept as fact whatever someone with a prestigious title, notable academic credentials or distinguished awards might say. But no amount of education or recognitions makes someone’s views credible." (Junkfood Science)

"Predictions are just guesses" - "All of these government doomsday predictions have become so preposterous, the best thing for our sanity can be to laugh. Humor often offers more truth than government statistics, as this piece by Mike Bentley for the York Press reveals:" (Junkfood Science)

"More naive than Innocent - this green boast belongs in the bin" - "The Goodall household is well trained: compostable products get put on the compost heap; plastic bottles end up in the recycling bin. Where should Innocent's new smoothie bottles made from biodegradable corn starch go? Surprisingly the answer is, into a landfill site.

Innocent, the company with one of the purest brands in the UK, has made a mistake. For the past year it has used a new material called PLA for one of its ranges of drinks. It admitted last week that it would cease to use this bioplastic later this year. But on its website it is still making some surprising claims. It says that the bottles made from this bioplastic break down in garden compost heaps. They don't. PLA needs to be heated for several days to temperatures far above the norm in a domestic compost bin before it begins to rot. The bottles would break down in a commercial composter, but few local authorities operate one of these plants. Innocent's ethical consumers are going to find a lot of plastic bottles at the bottom of their compost heap next spring." (London Independent)

"Biotech deaths may already total millions" - "The global conflict over high-yield farming became even uglier earlier this month when armed activists "for the landless" invaded a Brazilian biotech research farm. One activist and a security guard were killed and eight other people injured.

Unfortunately, the clash over modern farming technology has already had victims by the millions. New technologies that would save millions of lives every year are being held back by activist-scared regulators, using the excuse of "more testing." (Dennis T. and Alex A. Avery, ESR)

October 26, 2007

"California Fire Smokescreen" - "Are climate alarmists using the Southern California wildfires to fan the flames of global warming?" (Steven Milloy, FoxNews.com)

"Fox News Reports, Networks Ignore Consequences of Not Clearing Brush" - "Fox News, just as Glenn Beck previously, picked up on an observation that the rest of the mainstream media largely ignored: brush left in place under environmental groups’ pressure fueled much of the fires in southern California." (News Busters)

"Global warming not a factor in wildfires" - "Southern California has long been plagued by wind and drought, but climate change may make for a drier future, scientists say." (Alan Zarembo, Los Angeles Times)

CNN's Planet In Peril is drawing fire - we've had several correspondents highlight false assertions, the most common being 40% loss of Greenland's ice sheet in the past 40 years. This is of course utter nonsense (people would have noticed a sea level rise of ~8 feet since 1967, don't you think?). Presumably Cooper has confused Arctic sea ice with Greenland's land-borne ice shield but the differences are profound. To reduce Greenland's ice shield to that extent, according to IPCC estimates, would require a sustained warming of >5 °C for something over a thousand years.

The other error exciting people is the claim, apparently by CU's Konrad Steffen, that "we have never seen a temperature rise in Greenland that drastic". Perhaps he needs to read Chylek et al, Greenland warming of 1920-1930 and 1995-2005 - Abstract: We provide an analysis of Greenland temperature records to compare the current (1995-2005) warming period with the previous (1920-1930) Greenland warming. We find that the current Greenland warming is not unprecedented in recent Greenland history. Temperature increases in the two warming periods are of a similar magnitude, however, the rate of warming in 1920-1930 was about 50% higher than that in 1995 - 2005. [em added]

"CNN’s ‘Planet in Peril’ Fails to Mention Soros Funding of NASA Scientist" - "CNN’s special “worldwide investigation” “Planet in Peril,” in two segments looking at the debate amongst politicians and scientists on whether climate change is a man-made phenomenon, failed to mention that NASA scientist Dr. James Hansen, one the scientists featured in the second segment, has received funding from George Soros, while mentioning that “second biggest contributors to [global warming skeptic Senator James] Inhofe's Senate office are energy and natural resource companies.” (News Busters)

Following on from yesterday's observations: "Trenberth’s Twenty-Three Scientific Errors in One Short Article" (.pdf) - "Kevin Trenberth (Rocky Mountain News, October 24), commenting on Mike Rosen’s article expressing legitimate doubts about the award of the Nobel Peace Prize to Al Gore, makes 23 scientific mistakes, each of which falls in the direction of magnifying the unjustifiable alarm stoked by panicky politicians and extravagantly-funded environmentalists in cahoots with a shrinking clique of scientists in denial of observational climate data." (Christopher Monckton of Brenchley, SPPI)

"La Nina Seen Bringing Mild US Winter, Dry Summer" - "CHICAGO - The La Nina weather phenomenon will usher in a mild US winter, expand the Southeast drought and may bring dryness to the Midwest next summer that could cause corn and soy crops to struggle a little, meteorologists said." (Reuters)

"An Interview with Joe Bastardi" - "In part one of her interview, Katie Fehlinger sits down with our own expert senior Meteorologist and hurricane specialist Joe Bastardi, who has strong opinions on climate change. We would also like to hear your feedback. Do you agree or disagree with what Joe is saying?

Katie also discusses a new climate change bill that might have a chance of getting through Congress." (AccuWeather)

The Big Thaw - By JPL’s Son Nghiem and Greg Neumann

A thick chunk of Arctic sea ice the size of two states has disappeared. Is it global warming or normal causes? This very excellent video podcast explains why the decline of ice accelerated this year and why the future remains uncertain. JPL’s Son Nghiem, Research Scientist and Greg Neumann, Radar engineer, studied the ice from the Coast guard Cutter Healy and NASA’s QuikScat satellite did a good job explaining the changes, unusual wind patterns which helped feed the transpolar current with ice which “accelerated out like a runaway train.”

Nghiem said “Unusual atmospheric conditions set up wind patterns that compressed the sea ice, loaded it into the Transpolar Drift Stream and then sped its flow out of the Arctic,” he said. When that sea ice reached lower latitudes, it rapidly melted in the warmer waters. “The winds causing this trend in ice reduction were set up by an unusual pattern of atmospheric pressure that began at the beginning of this century,” Nghiem said. Read the release here.

See the podcasts here. (via Icecap)

"Like it or not, uncertainty and climate change go hand in hand" - "Despite decades of ever more-exacting science projecting Earth's warming climate, there remains large uncertainty about just how much warming will actually occur." (University of Washington)

Here's another little 'secret' -- there's no certainty of any warming at all. We don't know the planet's current temperature within ± 0.7 K, we don't know it's history within similar bounds and we have no real reason to suspect that global mean temperature is a particularly useful metric.

"Climate is too complex for accurate predictions" - "Climate change models, no matter how powerful, can never give a precise prediction of how greenhouse gases will warm the Earth, according to a new study." (NewScientist.com news service)

It's even worse than that, this analysis shows models use wildly inflated sensitivity values guaranteed to produce impossible warming from increases in atmospheric trace gases.

"Global warming debate at Duquesne University pairs skeptic with believer" - "Two internationally respected scientists with widely differing views on the controversial issue of global warming sparred with studies and charts in a debate Thursday night at Duquesne University.

The Allegheny Institute for Public Policy, a Castle Shannon think tank, and Duquesne's Graduate Center for Social and Public Policy brought together skeptic S. Fred Singer and believer Charles Keller, and posed the question: "Is human activity causing global warming?" (Tribune-Review)

"Environment Ministers Target 2009 Climate Treaty" - "BOGOR, Indonesia - An informal meeting of environment ministers in Indonesia has accepted the need for negotiations on a new treaty to fight climate change to be wrapped up by 2009, a UN official said on Thursday." (Reuters)

Another case of "So what?" Environment ministers are chosen for their dippy beliefs.

"Time to ditch Kyoto" - "Climate policy after 2012, when the Kyoto treaty expires, needs a radical rethink. More of the same won't do, argue Gwyn Prins and Steve Rayner." (Nature)

"Climate change: Sarkozy backs carbon tax, EU levy on non-Kyoto imports" - "French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Thursday called for a national "carbon tax" on global-warming pollutants and a European levy on imports from countries outside the Kyoto Protocol.

Sarkozy mentioned no names, but any such levy is bound to be targeted at imports from the United States and Australia, the only advanced economies that remain outside the UN's landmark pact on greenhouse-gas emissions." (AFP)

"CDC Director Says White House Didn't Dilute Climate Testimony" - "ATLANTA-- Julie Gerberding, the director of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, defended Wednesday her congressional testimony on the health effects of climate change earlier this week.

An Associated Press report Tuesday, quoting an unnamed CDC source, said the White House heavily edited Dr. Gerberding's testimony on the potential impact on human health of global climate change. According to the AP, Dr. Gerberding's verbal testimony had far fewer details about specific health risks posted by climate change than an early version of her prepared remarks submitted to the White House Office of Management and Budget for review.

Dr. Gerberding, speaking Wednesday at a luncheon hosted by the Atlanta Press Club, dismissed as "ridiculous" such allegations.

"This is not an issue of cover up related to climate change and health," she said.

Her written remarks were indeed edited, she said, as part of the routine process by which "gaggles" of government officials review proposed comments in advance of congressional testimony. Material removed included some program and disease information, consistent with her "less is best" approach to testimony, she said.

"I was absolutely happy with my testimony" before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, she said. "I felt confident we had a completely candid conversation."

Dr. Gerberding said she has learned during her tenure as head of the CDC that "nobody reads" prepared remarks and that what matters are oral statements made during Congressional hearings. "I stand by it," she said of her verbal testimony. "I don't let people put words in my mouth."

The CDC plans to post versions of her testimony on its Web site, she said, showing her remarks before and after the editing." (Ann Carrns, WSJ)

"'Today' Blames Rise of Food Allergies on Global Warming" - "Is there any strife in the world the "Today" show isn't going to blame on global warming? Last week NBC's Ann Curry cited climate change a cause of increasing tween stress, this week, "Today's" chief medical editor Dr. Nancy Snyderman warned global warming has sparked an increase of food allergies." (News Busters)

"Study reveals lakes a major source of prehistoric methane" - "A team of scientists led by a researcher at the University of Alaska Fairbanks has identified a new likely source of a spike in atmospheric methane coming out of the North during the end of the last ice age.

Methane bubbling from arctic lakes could have been responsible for up to 87 percent of that methane spike, said UAF researcher Katey Walter, lead author of a report printed in the Oct. 26 issue of Science magazine. The findings could help scientists understand how current warming might affect atmospheric levels of methane, a gas that is thought to contribute to climate change." (University of Alaska Fairbanks)

Oh... so methane having reached a new atmospheric equilibrium about, oh, a decade ago tells us the world is not actually warming any more? Or maybe it's just not really that big a deal as climate feedbacks go?

"Agricultural soil erosion not contributing to global warming, study shows" - "Agricultural soil erosion is not a source of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, according to research published online today (25 October) in Science. The study was carried out by an international team led by researchers at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium, the University of Exeter, UK, and the University of California, Davis.

The researchers developed a new method to establish the net effect of erosion on exchanges of carbon between the soil and the atmosphere. They found that in landscapes subject to soil erosion, erosion acts like a conveyor belt, excavating subsoil, passing it through surface soils and burying it in hill-slope hollows. During its journey, the soil absorbs carbon from plant material and this becomes buried within the soil in depositional areas. Erosion, therefore, leads to more carbon being removed from the atmosphere than is emitted, creating what can be described as a ‘sink’ of atmospheric carbon." (University of Exeter)

"A tax on carbon to cool the planet" - "Forcing higher prices for fossil fuels would be simple, fair, and effective. Why do politicians fear to do it?" (The Christian Science Monitor)

Where to start? Firstly, it would be political suicide to tax the populace to absolutely no purpose, secondly, it has no prospect of cooling the planet.

Asking Gore to put his mass where his mouth is: "If Gore Were Arrested..." - "Fresh from winning the Nobel Peace Prize for his climate change evangelism, Al Gore is apparently considering an invitation from a prominent environmental group to engage in civil disobedience against the construction of new coal-fired power plants.

Rainforest Action Network issued the invitation to the former Vice President, according to RAN executive director Michael Brune. The San Francisco-based group has a twenty-year history of protesting against destructive logging practices and other causes of climate change; it specializes in targeting corporations as much as governments.

"We came across a quote from Gore in an interview with [New York Times] columnist Nicholas Kristof back in August, saying he didn't understand, quote, 'Why there aren't rings of young people blocking bulldozers and preventing them constructing new coal-fired power plants,'" said Brune. "We thought, 'Great idea!' That's the kind of activism we do at RAN. So we decided to invite Gore to join us."

Gore's office confirmed that the former Vice President had received RAN's invitation and was considering it, though no decision has been made.

"He has not accepted any of their offers to date," Kalee Kreider, a spokeswoman for Gore, said of the RAN offer. Kreider did not deny that this phrasing leaves open the possibility of Gore saying yes down the road." (The Nation)

"Coal to Make Germany Miss CO2 Target - Green Group" - "BERLIN - Germany has no chance of achieving its reduced CO2 emissions' targets if it keeps building coal-burning power plants, an environmental group said on Thursday." (Reuters)


"Underground CO2 storage study to begin" - "The University of Texas has received a $38 million subcontract to conduct the first U.S. long-term study of underground carbon dioxide storage." (UPI)

Why? We have been studying and extracting underground carbon stores for centuries -- peat digging and coal mining has been going on for a long time and lately we've been taking extraction of oil and gas to the level of art forms. Will their study make us any better at locating and mining carbon?

"Global Warming Expert: $800 Billion a Year for Carbon Capture" - "If you thought doing your part in waging the war against global warming was as simple as attending one of Al Gore’s mid-summer “Live Earth” concerts, think again." (News Busters)

"California air regulators adopt new global warming standards" - "Car tires must be fully inflated, trucks fitted with aerodynamic devices and cargo ship engines silenced when docked at port under global warming proposals adopted Thursday by state air regulators.

The California Air Resources Board approved six new mandates that manufacturers, shipping and trucking companies will be asked to follow beginning 2010 as a way to help the state get an early start at cutting greenhouse gases.

The board also approved rules that nonprofit groups must follow if they want to get credit for growing trees or changing how private forest lands are managed to store carbon dioxide." (Associated Press)

Figures... Dot Earth: The Domain We All Share - Andy Revkin blogs population panic, gorebull warming, etc....

Traipsing down the Malthusian path, again: "U.N. Warns of Environmental Threats" - "Damage to the environment could soon pass a point of no return, according to a major report from the U.N." (New York Times)

You only think superabundance coupled with declining pollution are positive indicators: "Not an environment scare story" - "A landmark assessment by the UN of the state of the world's environment paints the bleakest picture yet of our planet's well-being. The warning is stark: humanity's future is at risk unless urgent action is taken. Over the past 20 years, almost every index of the planet's health has worsened. At the same time, personal wealth in the richest countries has grown by a third.

The report, by the United Nations Environment Programme (Unep), warns that the vital natural resources which support life on Earth have suffered significantly since the first such report, published in 1987. However, this gradual depletion of the world's natural "capital" has coincided with unprecedented economic gains for developed nations, which, for many people, have masked the growing crisis." (London Independent)

Actually we don't think these are environmental scare stories -- we think they are the same tired old rubbish spouted by the same tired old misanthropists desperate to hinder human endeavor by any means possible.

"Survival of man rest on climate change action" - "The survival of mankind depends on nations overcoming their lethargy and tackling the problems of climate change, species extinction and feeding a growing population, a panel of the world's leading scientists has said." (London Telegraph)

Some truth in it -- if we bankrupt societies "fighting" the non-existent "global warming" threat then humanity will indeed be more vulnerable to inevitable cooling, which really is something to worry about.

Et tu, Boris, et tu? "Global over-population is the real issue" - "It is a tragic measure of how far the world has changed — and the infinite capacity of modern man for taking offence — that there are no two subjects that can get you more swiftly into political trouble than motherhood and apple pie.

The last time I tentatively suggested that there was something to be said in favour of apple pie, I caused a frenzy of hatred in the healthy-eating lobby. It reached such a pitch that journalists were actually pelting me with pies, and demanding a retraction, and an apology, and a formal denunciation of the role of apple pie in causing obesity.

As for motherhood — the fertility of the human race — we are getting to the point where you simply can't discuss it, and we are thereby refusing to say anything sensible about the biggest single challenge facing the Earth; and no, whatever it may now be conventional to say, that single biggest challenge is not global warming. That is a secondary challenge. The primary challenge facing our species is the reproduction of our species itself." (Boris Johnson, London Telegraph)

Must've been bitten by Zac Goldsmith or something.

March of the eco-imperialists: "Prince Charles's bid to save existing forests" - "The Prince of Wales has launched a global private-sector initiative dedicated to find ways of keeping the world's old-growth forests standing and providing "essential public services to humanity." (London Telegraph)

Now you know how bad it is: "Al Gore praises Sarkozy's green policies" - "President Nicolas Sarkozy of France has received warm praise from Nobel winning crusader Al Gore for his "historic" bid to spark a French "green revolution" after months of climate negotiations with green groups, unions and big business." (London Telegraph)

"Meteor no longer prime suspect in great extinction: The Great Dying 250 million years ago happened slowly, say USC geologists" - "The greatest mass extinction in Earth’s history also may have been one of the slowest, according to a study that casts further doubt on the extinction-by-meteor theory.

Creeping environmental stress fueled by volcanic eruptions and global warming was the likely cause of the Great Dying 250 million years ago, said USC doctoral student Catherine Powers." (University of Southern California)

Was it ever?

Speculated Causes of the Permian Extinction (248 million years ago): Although the cause of the Permian mass extinction remains a debate, numerous theories have been formulated to explain the events of the extinction. One of the most current theories for the mass extinction of the Permian is an agent that has been also held responsible for the Ordovician and Devonian crises, glaciation on Gondwana. A similar glaciation event in the Permian would likely produce mass extinction in the same manner as previous, that is, by a global widespread cooling and/or worldwide lowering of sea level.

The Formation of Pangea

Another theory which explains the mass extinctions of the Permian is the reduction of shallow continental shelves due to the formation of the super-continent Pangea. Such a reduction in oceanic continental shelves would result in ecological competition for space, perhaps acting as an agent for extinction. However, although this is a viable theory, the formation of Pangea and the ensuing destruction of the continental shelves occurred in the early and middle Permian, and mass extinction did not occur until the late Permian.


A third possible mechanism for the Permian extinction is rapid warming and severe climatic fluctuations produced by concurrent glaciation events on the north and south poles. In temperate zones, there is evidence of significant cooling and drying in the sedimentological record, shown by thick sequences of dune sands and evaporites, while in the polar zones, glaciation was prominent. This caused severe climatic fluctuations around the globe, and is found by sediment record to be representative of when the Permian mass extinction occurred.

Volcanic Eruptions

The fourth and final suggestion that paleontologists have formulated credits the Permian mass extinction as a result of basaltic lava eruptions in Siberia. These volcanic eruptions were large and sent a quantity of sulphates into the atmosphere. Evidence in China supports that these volcanic eruptions may have been silica-rich, and thus explosive, a factor that would have produced large ash clouds around the world. The combination of sulphates in the atmosphere and the ejection of ash clouds may have lowered global climatic conditions. The age of the lava flows has also been dated to the interval in which the Permian mass extinction occurred.

"The Economics of Mosquitoes" - "You might not think that mosquitoes would be a great topic for economists, but two recent papers prove otherwise." (Steven D. Levitt, New York Times)

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Daft! (Number Watch)

"The NewsBusters Interview: 'Indoctrinate U' Filmmaker Evan Maloney" - "Today I'm pleased to announce a new feature: The NewsBusters Interview. These will be a series of lengthy, candid conversations we'll be conducting with prominent individuals in the media and political worlds.

Recently I had the privilege of attending the premier of the "Indoctrinate U," a documentary that exposes the widespread suppression of conservative and libertarian opinions on America's college campuses. Turns out, the same 60s and 70s radicals who marched for free speech back then aren't so interested in the concept now that they're running academia." (News Busters)

"Government denies scrapping bin tax plans" - "The government yesterday denied widespread suggestions that it had dropped its controversial "pay-as-you-throw" bin tax plans, insisting that no announcement had been made or was imminent." (The Guardian)

"You choose: seven more years of worry, or a pint and a fag" - "There is no escaping the stark facts. Death knocks seven years sooner at the door of dustmen than dukes, of security guards sooner than solicitors. And new figures from the Office for National Statistics suggest that that gap is refusing to close. The rich get richer and the poor get sicker, sooner.

What’s going on here? Why aren’t the proles behaving like the healthier middle classes keep instructing them? It’s got to stop. It makes us middle-class people feel bad." (Tim Lott, London Times)

To the rear, advance? "UK Organic Group Says Air-Freight Food OK if Aids Poor" - "LONDON - Britain's largest organic food association said on Wednesday it will continue to put its stamp of approval on products sent by air freight, but only if the food sales help poor farmers.

The Soil Association, which certifies over 70 percent of organic produce sold in Britain, had previously debated refusing to certify products shipped by air freight because of high carbon emissions from airplanes." (Reuters)

"'Food miles' soared by 31% in a year, study reveals" - "Almost a third more food was flown into Britain last year than in 2005, embarrassing the Government which has promised to slash the pollution and congestion from "food miles".

Air-freight rose 31 per cent in the year to 2006, according to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which published the figures on its website without a press notice yesterday, a day after the Soil Association decided not to implement a full ban on air-freighted food." (London Independent)

"I'm suffering from eco-fatigue" - "A few months ago we had unexpected guests for lunch, so I sent my 12-year-old son out for some lettuce. "Mum, I got the one that says it was grown in England, not the one that was grown in Spain. I thought that's what you'd want."

He knew I might be thinking about the lettuce's air miles. I didn't have the heart to tell him that the Spanish one might be more environmentally friendly because it was probably grown in an unheated greenhouse, unlike its British counterpart.

But then again, who's to know? If you shop with a strong eye on the environment, then going to supermarkets has become soul-destroying. "No, we can't have beans flown from Kenya." "Sorry, darling, that sweetcorn has way too much packaging." "C'mon, you know those strawberries aren't in season."

Frankly, I don't have the time or the energy for such twists and turns: like a lot of consumers, I'm suffering from "eco-fatigue". (Lila das Gupta, London Telegraph)

"There is much promise and little danger in bioengineering" - "Stirring up fears about scientific research will make our shortage of scientists worse, says Michael Rennie" (The Guardian)

"A Green Revolution for Africa" - "The so-called Green Revolution of Asia, which began in the 1960s and continued through the 1980s, spurred the greatest expansion of food production in world history. Global wheat and rice production doubled, and continued to grow. The cost of cereal grains declined by 30%. The proportion of the people suffering from hunger was halved. Agriculture was at the center of the global development agenda. Research and development, political courage, effective policies and good governance were the driving forces.

The World Bank, in its newly published "World Development Report: Agriculture for Development," takes stock of the sector and its potential for future sustainable development. This World Development Report comes 25 years after the last issue that featured agriculture and rural development. What has happened in the interim? The report card is not all good, particularly for Africa.

For more than 20 years I have worked with former President Jimmy Carter and the Nippon Foundation of Japan to help transform smallholder agricultural production in sub-Saharan Africa, the region where agricultural development has been the most anemic. The reasons for this poor performance are many. A comparison with the Asian Green Revolution is instructive." (Norman E. Borlaug, Wall Street Journal) | For the access-impaired

October 25, 2007

"West Africa: New Approach to Malaria Recommended" - "A World Health Organization evaluation of West African countries' progress in controlling malaria has recommended that donors allocate more funds to indoor spraying and to helping countries purchase the latest anti-malarial drugs.

"For the control of malaria vectors, we had previously recommended the use of mosquito nets," said Stephan Tohon, WHO focal point on malaria in West Africa, speaking to IRIN on the sidelines of the UN agency's malaria evaluation meeting in the Burkina Faso capital Ouagadougou.

"But today the experience of some countries in southern Africa with indoor house spraying - containing the once-banned insecticide DDT - has yielded positive results. This is very important to beat malaria and it is going to contribute to controlling mosquitoes not only in bedrooms, but in houses and verandas," Tohon explained." (UN Integrated Regional Information Networks)

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Theorem, newly formed: On Badgers And ‘Global Warming’
“One impulse from a vernal wood
May teach you more of man;
Of moral evil and of good,
Than all the sages can.”
[William Wordsworth, The Tables Turned, 1798]

I am keen today to present you with a new theory. I was going to call it Naive Sett Theory (because my main example involves badgers), but I think I shall resist the temptation. Nevertheless, the theory, or theorem, does involve resistance, namely resistance to action based on enlightenment science. We might better term it the Sensibility Index (S) (though some might be irreverently tempted to demean it as the ‘Tree-Hugging Index’). (Global Warming Politics)

"The next French revolution: Nicolas Sarkozy sets out his plans for a green future" - "President Sarkozy will attempt to claim leadership of the environmental movement tomorrow, but his promises of a radical, green France risk falling victim to a reluctance to raise taxes, drop speed limits or touch the country’s reliance on nuclear power." (London Times)

Ooh, Dr Trenberth! "Mostly wrong on warming" - "In commenting on “Al Gore’s ignoble Nobel” (Oct. 19), Rocky Mountain News columnist Mike Rosen failed to recognize that the Nobel Peace Prize was given to the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change and Al Gore (in that order). As a scientist who has played a major role in IPCC for 20 years, Mike Rosen’s comments are not only offensive, they are mostly wrong." (Kevin Trenberth, Rocky Mountain News)

What a dodgy bit of refutation you have engaged in.

  • Depending on which data set is employed some different results are available but the bottom line is that the mere inclusion of the 1997/98 El Niño response differentiates the estimated warming of the first half of the 20th Century from the second and even then you need extrapolate the warming trend over a century to distinguish by 0.1 K (something we have no hope of measuring, as you are well aware). Moreover, climate model output is not data and constitutes no proof. Goodness! The ensemble chosen for the intercomparison project can't agree over a 5 K range just what the baseline temperature of the planet might be. Parenthetically, many of them produce as much warming as is estimated to have occurred since the Industrial Revolution in their unforced control run state.
  • Yes, the net impact of anthropogenic forcing is absolutely overwhelmed by natural forcings at ~1.5 Wm-2 (IPCC WG1 AR4, fig 2.20) when incoming solar is evaluated at 342 Wm-2 and "back radiation" (greenhouse effect) of 324 Wm-2 according to, um... Kiehl and Trenberth actually (surely you were not unaware of this research?).
    Climate might be changing (it usually does) but humans are most assuredly not the major drivers of global climate.
  • Actually, water vapor has a variable effect with altitude and latitude but no one has refuted: "Given the present composition of the atmosphere, the contribution to the total heating rate in the troposphere is around 5 percent from carbon dioxide and around 95 percent from water vapor. In the stratosphere, the contribution is about 80 percent from carbon dioxide and about 20 percent from water vapor." (S.M. Freidenreich and V. Ramaswamy, “Solar Radiation Absorption by Carbon Dioxide, Overlap with Water, and a Parameterization for General Circulation Models,” Journal of Geophysical Research 98 (1993):7255-7264.)
    Carbon dioxide is capable of trapping >35% of Earth's OLR (Outbound Longwave Radiation) but manages less than one-third its potential due to absorption by water vapor and clouds.
    Some models suggest increases in atmospheric water vapor but research has found no increase in net precipitation (and what goes up as evaporation comes down as precipitation), making that model-generated 'data' suspect. At best the situation is unresolved and lacking evidentiary support.
  • Ice ages might be caused by Milankovic Cycles although there are competing hypotheses and this, too, remains unresolved. Current rate of change is really barely detectable at 0.6 ± 0.2 K since the latter 19th Century, always providing that is actual rather than a measurement artifact (tropospheric measures do not agree with Hansen's bizarre method of extrapolating 1200 Km from recording points).
    The calculated expected temperature of the Earth is 288 K while "the most trusted models" suggest Earth's temperature is 14 °C (287.15 K), according to Hansen, meaning model-estimated mean temperature plus published anomaly figures remain below the expected 288 K figure. We are still not certain whether this is a "warming" or an incomplete recovery.
  • We are only just untangling solar effects but yes, it does appear solar variation is highly significant, particularly via both positive and negative amplification being investigated by Svensmark and others.

On the whole, Dr Trenberth, your rebuttal appears a pretty disingenuous attempt to browbeat a columnist from authority and some might be tempted to say you're not even wrong. Surely you haven't enhanced NCAR's standing with such a grubby little piece of bullying.

Doh! "Time to ditch Kyoto, experts urge" - "It is time for a radical rethink on climate change, says a report in the journal Nature this week.

Echoing sentiments long associated with politicians such as Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and U.S. President George Bush, the report says it is time to ditch the Kyoto Protocol because the United Nations treaty has "failed."

Not only has the decade-old treaty not delivered cuts in global emissions of greenhouse gases which continue to soar, but it is the wrong tool for the job, say Gwyn Prins of the London School of Economics and Steve Rayner at Oxford. Their commentary has top billing in the influential British science journal this week.

Under the headline "Time to Ditch Kyoto," they call on delegates heading for the United Nations climate meeting in Bali in December to "radically rethink climate policy" and warn against creating a "bigger" version of Kyoto with more stringent targets and timetables.

Kyoto is a "symbolically important expression" of governments' concerns about climate change, they say: "But as an instrument for achieving emissions reductions it has failed. It has produced no demonstrable reduction in emissions or even in anticipated emissions growth. And it pays no more than token attention to the needs of societies to adapt to existing climate change." (Margaret Munro, CanWest News Service)

Where were they? So-called 'deniers' said from the very beginning that, even if enhanced greenhouse should prove to be a problem in the future, Kyoto was of zero value in addressing it. A decade of nonsense, international recriminations (how's that for peace prize material?) and a plethora of expensive holidays in exotic locations for an ever-growing cohort of travelers in the Kyoto caravan to belatedly arrive at a conclusion blatantly obvious before a single negotiator arrived at the table. Whatever is eventually found to be the case none of the science ever supported the absurd Kyoto Protocol -- always a useless appendage to the irrelevant UNFCCC. What a farce!

King... "Kyoto treaty has failed, top scientist says" - "Climate change is the biggest single global challenge we face, Sir David King, the Government's chief scientist warned as critics called for a rethink of the "failed" Kyoto climate treaty.
He said: "The weight of scientific evidence is now established beyond all reasonable doubt, and the implications for people across the planet will be profound.

"The need for action is now urgent - we must act, and quickly, both to reduce the future impacts of climate change and to adapt to those impacts that cannot be avoided," he will say." (London Telegraph)

Say one thing for zealots, they sure don't let physical science or their own recent history get in the way of their enthusiasms. Not so long ago King was adamant that Kyoto was the only possible path to salvation. A decade too late he's discovered it's useless but he won't let that deflect him from his AGW faith.

Notable & Quotable

John Christy of the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (co-recipient of this year's Nobel Peace Prize) responds to questions by CNN anchor Miles O'Brien:

O'BRIEN: I assume you're not happy about sharing this award with Al Gore. You going to renounce it in some way?

CHRISTY: Well, as a scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, I always thought that -- I may sound like the Grinch who stole Christmas here -- that prizes were given for performance, and not for promotional activities.

And, when I look at the world, I see that the carbon dioxide rate is increasing, and energy demand, of course, is increasing. And that's because, without energy, life is brutal and short. So, I don't see very much effect in trying to scare people into not using energy, when it is the very basis of how we can live in our society.

O'BRIEN: So, what about the movie ["An Inconvenient Truth"]; do you take issue with, then, Dr. Christy?

CHRISTY: Well, there's any number of things.

I suppose, fundamentally, it's the fact that someone is speaking about a science that I have been very heavily involved with and have labored so hard in, and been humiliated by, in the sense that the climate is so difficult to understand, Mother Nature is so complex, and so the uncertainties are great, and then to hear someone speak with such certainty and such confidence about what the climate is going to do is -- well, I suppose I could be kind and say, it's annoying to me.

O'BRIEN: But you just got through saying that the carbon dioxide levels are up. Temperatures are going up. There is a certain degree of certainty that goes along with that, right?

CHRISTY: Well, the carbon dioxide is going up. And remember that carbon dioxide is plant food in the fundamental sense. All of life depends on the fact carbon dioxide is in the atmosphere. So, we're fortunate it's not a toxic gas. But, on the other hand, what is the climate doing. And when we build -- and I'm one of the few people in the world that actually builds these climate data sets -- we don't see the catastrophic changes that are being promoted all over the place.

For example, I suppose CNN did not announce two weeks ago when the Antarctic sea ice extent reached its all-time maximum, even though, in the Arctic in the North Pole, it reached its all-time minimum. (Wall Street Journal)

"Variations in max temp suggest Sun Caused Global Warming" - "We showed before about the variations between minimum temperature and that at 3am and 6am. But what about the differences between maximum temperature anomalies and temperatures at say, Noon, 3pm and 6pm? What would we expect?" (Gust of Hot Air)

"Massive California fires consistent with climate change" - "The catastrophic fires that are sweeping Southern California are consistent with what climate change models have been predicting for years, experts say, and they may be just a prelude to many more such events in the future – as vegetation grows heavier than usual and then ignites during prolonged drought periods." (Oregon State University)

Consistent with? They blame everything from hot to cold, wet to dry, too rapid change, too slow change and anything else you can think of on "climate change"! How could they be "inconsistent with"?

"Tendency for Droughts" - "... Of course, the global warming alarmists would have us believe there have never been droughts like this before. They seem to forget that in October 2003, the California fires claimed more lives and burned more acres than this year. According to this article by the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC), the Drought during the Dust Bowl years covered up to 70% of the United States. During the 1950s, the Great Plains and the southwestern US withstood a 5-year drought, and in three of these years, drought conditions stretched coast to coast. In the last half of the 16th century, there was a drought ” that appears to have been more severe in some areas of central North America than anything we have experienced in the 20th century, including the 1930s drought.” A particularly severe drought between 1500 and 1600 in the southwestern US apparently lasted nearly 100 years. The same article goes on to say:

When records of drought for the last two millennia are examined, the major 20th century droughts appear to be relatively mild in comparison with other droughts that occurred within this time frame.

All of the above statements would seem to apply to the 21st century too. There have been far worse droughts in the past that could not have been the result of increasing CO2." (Craig James, WOOD TV)

Some very good news, by proxy: "PM - Questions raised over climate change link to US fires" - "MARK COLVIN: The massive wildfires in southern California have now killed five people and forced half a million to flee their homes. The hot and fierce Santa Ana winds, blowing across drought-stricken land, have fed the fires.

It's a familiar story to Australians who have become increasingly used to this sort of mega fire over the past few years. It's too early to draw conclusions about a link between the Californian fires and climate change, but one of the world's leading fire ecologists says the question is being asked.

David Mark reports.

DAVID MARK: Professor Thomas Swetnam is a leading fire ecologist and the director of the Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research at the University of Arizona.

He's the curator of a collection of thousands of massive wooden disks. They're cross-sections of trees, the largest collection of tree rings in the world. Within those rings is information about climate, drought, rain and fire dating back thousands of years.

THOMAS SWETNAM: Well, the numbers are pretty striking actually, and the big changes occurred really over the last 20 years." (Australian Broadcasting Corp.)

So, if there have been really big changes over the last 20 years then presumably there has been a large, ongoing sampling in dendro circles. This is very exciting news since there has been a dearth of analyses and research into the "divergence problem" ("treemometers" no longer responding as previously assumed in paleoclimate studies) resulting in severely truncated time series and difficulty validating assumptions about past climate. Climate Audit has been actively trying to rectify the current unsatisfactory state of dendro sampling.

"Tropical Cyclones of China" - "Recently, former Vice President Al Gore won a share of the Nobel Peace Prize for his contributions to our understanding of the global warming problem. His film was seen as a masterpiece that certainly sealed the deal on his Nobel Prize. However, on the same day the Nobel committee honored Gore, world renowned hurricane specialist Dr. William Gray told a packed lecture hall at the University of North Carolina that humans were not responsible for the warming of the Earth and not responsible for alter hurricane patterns, as strongly suggested in the Gore film. Gray told the crowd “They’re going to the Gore movie and being fed all this,” and “It’s ridiculous. The human impact on the atmosphere is simply too small to have a major effect on global temperatures.” Dr. Gray said there were 101 hurricanes from 1900 to 1949 in a period of cooler global temperatures compared to 83 hurricanes between 1957 and 2006. Don’t look for Dr. Gray to receive a Nobel Prize anytime soon." (WCR)

"Hurricane season 2007 is near the record low of 1977" - "Florida State University’s COAPS (Center for Ocean-Atmospheric Prediction Studies) says that hurricane season 2007, which ends November 30th, is looking well below normal, in fact they are calling it “historic inactivity”.

According to COAPS: “Unless a dramatic and perhaps historical flurry of activity occurs in the next 11 weeks (ACE is based on calendar year, not traditional June-November hurricane season) , 2007 will rank as a historically inactive Tropical Cyclone year for the entire Northern Hemisphere. During the past 30 years, only 1977, 1981, and 1983 have had less activity to date (Jan-December). For the period of June 1 - October 19, 2007, only 1977 experienced LESS tropical cyclone activity.” (Watts Up With That?)

Interesting, in August NOAA's models gave just 5% chance of a below-normal season. Models and more "settled science", I guess.

"Ryan Maue’s 2007 ACE Estimate" - "A non-global warming explanation for the lack of moisture/drought in the US Southwest deals with the lack of Hurricane activity in the Eastern Pacific basin. The moisture, upper-level outflow, and accentuation of the monsoon can all be traced back partially to EPAC storms, which are highly sensitive to SST conditions in the equatorial Pacific (ENSO). Simple reanalysis calculations for inactive minus active EPAC seasons shows very significant deficits of monthly mean cloud water, precipitable water, and surface specific humidity (among a host of other variables) for Aug-Sept months over the US Southwest." (Climate Audit)

This nonsense again: "Health risks rise as Earth warms: CDC director says there's no question about climate change's negative impact" - "WASHINGTON – From algae blooms in the Chesapeake Bay to heat waves, drought and fires consuming the West, global warming is stirring up health problems that are likely to worsen, witnesses told a Senate committee Tuesday.

They pointed to as many as 35,000 deaths in 2003 during a summer heat wave in Europe. They cited the spread of the West Nile virus, unseen in the United States eight years ago, to 47 states." (Sacramento Bee) | CDC Climate Testimony ‘Eviscerated’ by White House (WSJ)

Quickly woven into the fabric of environmental lore, the European "heat wave deaths" (however many there actually were, since the number keeps growing apocryphally) were actually a matter of societal neglect when just about everyone went on summer vacation leaving the old and infirm in cities to fend for themselves. Without affordable air conditioning there was an inevitable tragedy with the first adverse event (in most cases all that would have been required was a free or cheap bus ride to an air conditioned mall for the day).

Unfamiliar diseases are an artifact of global travel rather than global warming (flying people incubating a disease between locations means they arrive prior to exhibiting symptoms and carry the disease into the population).

"US Agency Denies Interference in Climate Testimony" - "WASHINGTON - The White House watered down testimony to Congress about climate change by the head of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention before she delivered it, an activist group said on Wednesday, but the agency and White House both denied it." (Reuters)

"Climate of change" - "For too long, global warming has matched Mark Twain's description of the weather: Everybody talked about it, but nobody did anything about it. That may be changing. The question is whether it's changing fast enough to keep up with the changes in climate.

First, the bad news: An Australian researcher reported this week that carbon dioxide emissions have increased much faster than projected. They were 35 percent higher in 2006 than in 1990. Part of the reason may be that warmer oceans have less ability to absorb carbon dioxide from the air than cooler ones.

Now, the encouraging news: The Kansas Department of Health and Environment did something last week that no other government entity in America ever did before: It blocked the expansion of a large coal-fired power plant on the basis of excessive greenhouse gas emissions." (St Louis Post-Dispatch)

Nope, we've already dealt with this. To begin with comparing apparent increment between individual years is a complete nonsense since they can vary wildly (e.g. +2.2ppmv in 1973, +0.5ppmv in 1974...). Additionally, the Keeling Curve (KC) provides an easy way for us to check what's going on. Using Mauna Loa's figures (as befits a nod to Keeling), we derive the KC value 1959-1999 as (368/316)^(1/40)-1 or ~0.38%. To derive current expectation from the 1999 value then it is merely a case of calculating 368(1.003816^8) = 379.4, we were looking for an observed value of about 380 and calculated a value well within observed variability -- a tribute to Keeling's observations and the robustness of the Keeling Curve. Atmospheric carbon dioxide levels are pretty much exactly where they were expected to be and are certainly not showing any dramatic acceleration when they can be comfortably predicted with the KC.

Their "encouraging news" is only encouraging if you believe global warming hype and don't like people, otherwise...

"Who's Footing the Bill?" - "While German Chancellor Angela Merkel lets herself be celebrated as the savior of the world's climate, her cabinet is embroiled in a tense struggle over a planned program to help reduce the greenhouse effect. Under the program, Germany's homeowners, renters and drivers could face billions in additional costs." (Der Spiegel)

More nonsense: "Be wary of complex carbon caps" - "The global-warming fight can't wait to work out the kinks in a cap-and-trade scheme." (The Christian Science Monitor)

The thing to be wary of is "the global-warming fight" since it will not help the planet but it will harm people.

"Global Warming Hysteria Drives States to Sue Bush Administration Over CO2 Emissions" - "For many months, NewsBusters has been warning readers that the hysteria being generated by the media and the Global Warmingist-in-Chief Al Gore concerning climate change would eventually begin to impact energy and economic policies.

Following last Thursday's landmark decision in Kansas to not give an electricity producer a construction license for a coal-fired power plant due to global warming fears, more than a dozen states are set to file a lawsuit against the Bush administration for holding up efforts to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from cars and trucks.

I kid you not." (Noel Sheppard, News Busters)

"Developing Nations Have Emissions Role - Indonesia" - "BOGOR, Indonesia - Richer nations must take the lead in reducing carbon emissions, but developing nations should also play their part depending on their circumstances, Indonesia's president said on Wednesday." (Reuters)

"US Sees World on Track for 2009 UN Climate Deal" - "OSLO - The world seems on track to launch negotiations on a new treaty to fight climate change this year with an end-2009 deadline for a deal, the United States said on Wednesday." (Reuters)

"Nuclear Power Output Could Double by 2030 - IAEA" - "VIENNA - The world's output of nuclear power could nearly double by 2030, fuelled by demand from energy-hungry emerging economies and fears about security of supply and climate change, the UN said on Wednesday." (Reuters)

"Kyoto Clean Energy Projects to Dry Up 2009" - "LONDON - Funding for new projects to supply carbon offsets under the present cycle of the Kyoto Protocol will dry up over the next two years, underlining uncertainty about the pact's future, a project developer said. (Reuters)

"Renewable Stealth Tax" - "Democrats in Congress are huddling in their low-carbon-footprint backroom in search of a compromise energy bill, and all eyes have been on the issue of raising fuel-economy standards. But there's a lot more to worry about here than whether so-called "Cafe standards" rise to 32 miles per gallon, or 35, from 27.5 today.

The House version omitted Cafe standards altogether to mollify Michigan House baron John Dingell, but that doesn't make it the better piece of legislation. The bill runs to 1,000 pages and bears the vaguely Orwellian title of "New Direction for Energy Independence, National Security, and Consumer Protection Act."

In fact, the bill undermines energy independence by raising taxes on domestic production and throwing up new barriers to exploration. It's hard to see how it has any effect on national security, and we're at a loss about its consumer-protection claim too, unless you think Americans need "protecting" from the incandescent lightbulb. The bill bans those, effective 2012, on page 601.

But its worst (and little noticed) provision may be a requirement that 15% of U.S. electricity be generated from "renewable" sources by 2020. Utilities that can't meet these goals are fined -- taxed, really -- based on how far short of this Eden they fall. Currently, only about 3% is provided by such renewables as wind, solar or "biofuels." (Wall Street Journal)

"EU's Piebalgs Says Renewable Energy Goal Final" - "BRUSSELS - The European Union's energy chief pleaded for unity on Wednesday over the bloc's goals to increase renewable energy production and said there would be no going back on an ambitious target already agreed by EU leaders." (Reuters)

"EU Parliament Fires Early Shot in Car CO2 Battle" - "STRASBOURG, France - Average carbon dioxide emissions from cars sold in the European Union from 2015 should not exceed 125 grams per kilometre, the bloc's assembly agreed on Wednesday, seeking to influence upcoming legislation." (Reuters)

"More Japan Industries Raise CO2 Emission Cut Targets" - "TOKYO - Japanese trucking firms, home builders, instant noodle makers and sugar manufacturers promised to take additional measures to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help the country meet climate change goals, the government said." (Reuters)

"GE Hopes to Cut Mercury in 'Green' Light Bulbs" - "NISKAYUNA, N.Y., - General Electric Co is working to cut the amount of mercury in energy-saving fluorescent lightbulbs which have soared in popularity." (Reuters)

"Oil's Return to Canadian Arctic is No Stampede" - "CALGARY, Alberta - Imperial Oil Ltd and Exxon Mobil Corp turned heads in the oil industry in July with a nearly US$600 million bid that won them a big exploration block in Canada's Beaufort Sea." (Reuters)

"Such a deal ...or is it?" - "IBM has taken its employee wellness programs from the workplace into employees’ homes. The company announced today that it will pay employees to put their children into a 3-month online childhood obesity program. For every child that parents enroll in a “‘healthy’ eating and exercise training” program, they’ll get a $150 Children’s Health Rebate. But there’s a lot more to this story than meets the eye." (Junkfood Science)

No? Duh! "Daylight savings time disrupts humans' natural circadian rhythm" - "When people living in many parts of the world move their clocks forward one hour in the spring in observance of daylight saving time (DST), their bodies’ internal, daily rhythms don’t adjust with them, reports a new study appearing online on October 25th in Current Biology." (Cell Press)

Uh-huh... "Does the consumer really know best?" - "We now face so many dilemmas when buying food that Tim Lang, the inventor of the phrase 'food miles', says our decision-making should be restricted and entrusted to the supermarkets. Leo Hickman reports" (The Guardian)

"Organic air-freight food to be stripped of status" - "Three-quarters of the organic food flown in to Britain from overseas could be stripped of its valued status, as part of a plan to cut carbon emissions by eliminating air-freighted food from supermarket shelves." (London Telegraph)

Yup, can't go having them poor foreign people muscle in on our scam, cutting into profits like that!

Bad luck for all those struggling third world farmers who believed the eco-flake promises of support if they'd only forgo development and waste massive effort on growing low quality, low yield organic food for the pampered, effete European market. Oh well...

"Organic Farming Can't Even Feed Bangladesh" - "Organic farming could feed the world’s current population, and even a larger one based on organic crop yields reported from the Third World, say Catherine Badgley and a group of co-authors at the University of Michigan.

Evidence coming from around the world, however, indicates that the Badgley paper is wrong. For example, Roberto Pieretti of Argentina says the high corn yields credited to him were obtained with no-till farming, which uses herbicides, chemical fertilizers, and genetically-modified seeds.

Now comes Craig Miesner, a Bangladesh-based professor of crops and soils with Cornell University. Meisner says organic supporters seem to believe that organic fertilizers are cheap and readily available in poor countries—but they aren’t.

“I see cow dung in Bangladesh and all of South Asia as a valuable commodity. During my walks in the villages, I see it collected, largely by women and children, and used as fuel. Straw is another organic source of nutrients, but that’s not always available either. Rice and wheat straw is collected from the fields and used for cattle feed or thatching for roofs. Even the stubble is used, which the poorest come and cut for fuel.”" (CGFI)

"How to Fight Childhood Blindness" - "By embracing genetically modified ‘golden rice,’ says Greenpeace co-founder PATRICK MOORE, the world can help millions of people in developing countries." (CGFI)

"The real GM food scandal" - "GM foods are safe, healthy and essential if we ever want to achieve decent living standards for the world's growing population. Misplaced moralising about them in the west is costing millions of lives in poor countries" (Dick Taverne, Prospect Magazine)

"EU Allows Imports of Four GMO Crop Varieties" - "BRUSSELS - The European Union has authorised imports of four genetically modified (GMO) crop products for sale across its 27 national markets for the next 10 years, the European Commission said on Wednesday." (Reuters)

"France May Ban Monsanto GMO Maize - Minister" - "PARIS - France is considering banning the use of the sole genetically modified crop grown in the European Union, a maize produced by US biotech giant Monsanto, Agriculture Minister Michel Barnier said on Wednesday.

President Nicolas Sarkozy will unveil on Thursday a new environment policy based on a series of meetings bringing together government, environmentalists, scientists and business leaders.

One of the remaining uncertainties at this stage is whether Sarkozy will allow GMO crops to continue to be grown for commercial use in France or if he will decide to ban them.

Only one GMO crop is grown and sold in the European Union, the so-called MON-810 maize, but Monsanto must request a renewal of its licence early in 2008." (Reuters)

October 24, 2007

"Bureaucratic Version of Playing God" - "Here’s further proof that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and their collectives are clueless. Embroiled in a silly debate over what species residing in the United States are native or not, they have decided to promulgate mosquito control management regulations for the 97 million acres of National Wildlife Refuge lands (nearly the size of the state of California and almost precisely three times the size of the state of Arizona.)

The very first thing they have decided is that native mosquito species must be allowed to continue to exist unimpeded because mosquitoes are natural components of most wetlands.

God forbid you are an alien, non-native mosquito serving as a vector for a deadly disease. But how do the Feds tell them apart? And so even though non-native mosquitoes are not protected, you can’t spray them when they are causing disease, because that will involve spraying native mosquitoes as well. Catch 22." (RJ Smith, Open Market)

"EU Pesticides Package Passes First Key Milestone" - "STRASBOURG, France - Spraying pesticides near schools or hospitals is set to be heavily controlled under a contested package of rules adopted by European Union lawmakers on Tuesday to safeguard health and food quality.

There would also be a general ban on aerial crop spraying, making it illegal in the 27-nation bloc to kill bugs using a method made famous by Alfred Hitchcock's movie "North by Northwest". (Reuters)

"EUROPE: Move to Halve Pesticides Use" - "BRUSSELS - Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) are seeking that pesticide use be halved within a decade in order to reduce the amount of hazardous chemicals in the environment." (IPS)

Pesticides, however, are good for you.

"When Man Is Endangered" - "The burgeoning metro Atlanta area is being hit hard by the severe drought in the Southeast. Is it too much to ask that a few protected species make a sacrifice for humans?" (IBD)

"Obesity 'epidemic' turns global" - "People are getting fatter in all parts of the world, with the possible exception of south and east Asia, a one-day global snapshot shows.

Between half and two-thirds of men and women in 63 countries across five continents - not including the US - were overweight or obese in 2006." (BBC)

"Doctors ignoring obesity" - "NEW YORK -- Few obese adults receive a formal weight-management plan from their doctors, despite the proven health benefits of even modest weight loss, a new study suggests." (Reuters)

"Obesity 'epidemic': Who are you calling fat?" - "We're told there's an obesity 'epidemic'. Yet there's not a shred of evidence, says Professor Patrick Basham – and this crusade is harming our children." (London Independent)

"Pick-up Sticks — the latest breast cancer scare" - "Women were once again frightened this week by news warning that gaining weight could endanger their health. We learned of a study linking weight gain — any at all after age 18 — to breast cancer. Except it wasn’t based on good science, but on a mail-in survey." (Junkfood Science)

"Weighing In: A science journalist makes the case for low-carb diets." - "Diet fads wax and wane, but for the past few decades, public-health experts have assured us there is a surefire path to weight loss: eat a diet that’s low in fat, cholesterol, and salt, and you will be less at risk for heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. But as Science magazine correspondent Gary Taubes asked in a 2002 New York Times Magazine cover story, “What if it’s all been a big fat lie?” That is, what if carbohydrates—specifically, refined carbohydrates and sugars—cause the diseases that plague modern Americans? What if they—not fat, cholesterol, or salt—are responsible for our obesity epidemic?

It was a fascinating thesis, albeit a controversial one. Now, five years after his groundbreaking Times piece, Taubes has come out with a new book, Good Calories, Bad Calories, which explores the topic at greater length. He has combed through every available study on heart disease, diet, and obesity—and arrived at some surprising conclusions." (The American)

Whoops! "Hardly 'junk' science: Royal Society examines climate change" - "In the wake of the Nobel Prize awarded Al Gore and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, skeptics have once again been fussing, fuming and fulminating. Assertions are flying that the evidence for climate change is either bunkum spun by charlatans, a gigantic anti-capitalist hoax or alarmist "junk" science.

So let's give one of the world's most prestigious science academies an opportunity to address some of the counterclaims presented as fact by climate change deniers." (Stephen Hume, Vancouver Sun)

Not their best work, is it? Specifically it fails their own motto: "The Royal Society's motto 'Nullius in verba', roughly translated as 'Nothing in words', dates back to 1663, and is an expression of the determination of the Fellows to withstand the domination of authority (such as in Scholasticism) and to verify all statements by an appeal to facts determined by experiment." as they have become the very authority they should withstand. Shamefully they have even resorted to attempting to silence skeptical voices when the way of science is Audiatur et altera pars (hear the other side).

Since there is already some pretty hairy paraphrasing in progress (hopefully only in the article but unfortunately at least some appears to stem from the Royal Society) we'll just loosely do likewise.

  • Ice core records suggest current levels of CO2 are high, although there remains dispute over the validity of ice core assessment and historical CO2 levels
  • The relevance of atmospheric CO2 levels as a driver of climate is in dispute, historically atmospheric CO2 has been a response not a cause
  • The proportion of anthropogenic carbon in the atmosphere is not in dispute nor particularly relevant since the atmospheric increment is observed to change according to ocean temperatures (specifically under ENSO events with the largest recorded increment occurring with the impressive 1997/98 El Niño)
  • The temperature of the planet is not known with a precision greater than the estimate of warming since the Industrial Revolution nor is the global mean temperature of particular relevance unless you happen to live at "global mean" (wherever that might be)
  • There is evidence the world has warmed since the Little Ice Age but none that that is a bad thing
  • The alleged support of balloon sonde and MSU records for near-surface datasets is a nonsense and refers to the August 2005 non-event:
    "New observations and climate model data confirm recent warming of the tropical atmosphere" - "For the first time, new climate observations and computer models provide a consistent picture of recent warming of the tropical atmosphere." (DOE/Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory)

    Well, two out of three ain't bad.

    Radiosonde Daytime Biases and Late-20th Century Warming by Sherwood, Lanzante and Meyer [Abstract] [PDF] [Supporting Online Material] is an interesting take on radiosonde data that suggests a plausible reason there's no trend evident in Angell's 850-300mb series - certainly worthy of serious attention. Whether the magnitude of the adjustment is reasonable is open to some conjecture. The estimated +0.14 °C/decade correction from 1979 -1997 for the tropics and +0.04 °C/decade for the northern hemisphere extratropics would bring Angell's radiosonde data back into near agreement with MSU Lower Troposphere data, providing yet more support for the apparently growing agreement that, should the trend last for a century (it didn't last century but you never know), then the globe will warm something less than the IPCC's low-end 'storyline' guesstimate of ~+1.5 °C over the next century.

    UAHLTv5.1vsLT5.2.gif (33373 bytes) Mears and Wentz have presented The Effect of Diurnal Correction on Satellite-Derived Lower Tropospheric Temperature [Abstract] [PDF] [Supporting Online Material] - this is not the work which resulted in adjustment of the UAH MSU LT dataset. (More information in California group's answer to climate puzzler improves the accuracy of global climate data from the team at UAH and a visual comparison of the 'old' and newly adjusted datasets is available by clicking the thumbnail at right. Arguing the toss over a few hundredths of a degree may seem like nitpicking but it is a worthwhile tweak.) This paper attempts to fit MSU measures to climate models and is basically about interpretation - it doesn't solve anything but will likely liven up the discussion over satellite data interpretation.

    Finally, the usual suspects present Amplification of Surface Temperature Trends and Variability in the Tropical Atmosphere [Abstract] [PDF] [Supporting Online Material] (see at least the abstract for extensive author list). Faced with disagreement between models and empirical data Santer et al prefer their 'robust' models over everyone's lying eyes - their abstract says it all really:

    "The month-to-month variability of tropical temperatures is larger in the troposphere than at the Earth's surface. This amplification behavior is similar in a range of observations and climate model simulations, and is consistent with basic theory. On multi-decadal timescales, tropospheric amplification of surface warming is a robust feature of model simulations, but occurs in only one observational dataset. Other observations show weak or even negative amplification. These results suggest that either different physical mechanisms control amplification processes on monthly and decadal timescales, and models fail to capture such behavior, or (more plausibly) that residual errors in several observational datasets used here affect their representation of long-term trends."

    Santer et al prefer to believe the world is wrong rather than that their models fail to adequately capture its behaviour. Right... A maybe, a perhaps and an eye-roller. Like we said, two out of three ain't bad.

    Update: The above set of papers seems to be eliciting considerable excitement with claims that scepticism regarding climate catastrophe has evaporated, been destroyed, disproved, etc., etc.. Such claimants might want to settle down and actually read the papers.

    Update II: Curiously, there seems to be a lot of traffic along the lines of "about time satellite and balloon data was subjected to some real scrutiny!" Fair enough, we believe careful scrutiny an excellent idea - no problem there. So, uh, why the screams of anguish when anyone wants to kick the tyres and check under the hood of the ol' hockey stick wagon?

  • Computer models "give us a reliable guide to the direction of future climate change" -- total nonsense. Models use totally absurd climate sensitivity values, as explored tediously here. See also:

    Irrespective of the model flavor used, from the most basic to the multipartite coupled models utilizing each other's output as dynamic input, all models are by necessity overly simplistic and inadequate to represent the chaotic, nonlinear coupled system we call climate. While the average of model representations of global climate suggests Earth's mean temperature is about 14 °C (287 K), the 16 most trusted and 'stable' models tested in the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP) (see original .pdf) are not well able to reproduce this result.

    This graphic represents the unforced control runs for the "ensemble" (IPCC-speak for "haven't got a clue if any of these actually represent reality -- throw 'em all together and say the errors average out"). The range starts out guessing mean Earth surface temperature as anything from 11.5 to 16.5 °C (roughly 285-290 K) and ends -- without messing with carbon dioxide levels or anything else -- with the guesses even further apart. If they can't agree where they should start in a 5 °C range how are they supposed to figure out trends an order of magnitude smaller?

    Note also that several of these models produce at least as much warming as we think we have measured over the entire Twentieth Century absent any additional forcing whatsoever. Seven of the sixteen controls even suggest the world should be a little (or a lot) warmer than we believe it to be at present (how's that for "consensus"?).

    Precipitation results for the various models are similarly erratic, signifying a huge problem in the way models handle the most important greenhouse gas: water vapor. At this time they appear more a disarray of models and we will not be paying attention to model "guesstimations" any time soon.

Etc., etc....

Really? "Warming 'will lead to extinctions'" - "GLOBAL warming could cut a swathe through the planet's species over the coming centuries, warns a study released today which shows a link between rising temperatures and mass extinctions reaching back half a billion years.

Each of five major eras of declining biodiversity - including one in which 95 percent of the Earth's species disappeared - correspond to cycles of severe warming over the 520-million-year period for which there are fossil records.

If emissions of greenhouse gas rise unchecked, the predicted increase in global temperature over the next several hundred years could fall within a similar range as these peaks, said the study, published in a British journal, Proceedings of The Royal Society B." (Agence France-Presse)

In another questionable spray warming is now generally associated with extinction events... what happened to those thought caused by cooling?

Speculated Causes of the Ordovician Extinction (440-450 million years ago): Glaciation and Sea-Level Lowering Hypothesis

The Ordovician mass extinction has been theorized by paleontologists to be the result of a single event; the glaciation of the continent Gondwana at the end of the period. Evidence for this glaciation event is provided by glacial deposits discovered by geologists in the Saharan Desert. By integrating rock magnetism evidence and the glacial deposit data, paleontologists have proposed a cause for this glaciation. When Gondwana passed over the north pole in the Ordovician, global climatic cooling occured to such a degree that there was global large-scale continental resulting in widespread glaciation. This glaciation event also caused a lowering of sea level worldwide as large amounts of water became tied up in ice sheets. A combination of this lowering of sea-level, reducing ecospace on continental shelves, in conjunction with the cooling caused by the glaciation itself are likely driving agents for the Ordovician mass extinction.

Speculated Causes of the Devonian Extinction (360 million years ago): Glaciation

Evidence supporting the Devonian mass extinction suggests that warm water marine species were the most severely affected in this extinction event. This evidence has lead many paleontologists to attribute the Devonian extinction to an episode of global cooling, similar to the event which is thought to have cause the late Ordovician mass extinction. According to this theory, the extinction of the Devonian was triggered by another glaciation event on Gondwana, as evidenced by glacial deposits of this age in northern Brazil. Similarly to the late Ordovician crisis, agents such as global cooling and widespread lowering of sea-level may have triggered the late Devonian crisis.

Meteorite Impact

Meteorite impacts at the Frasnian-Famennian boundary have also been suggested as possible agents for the Devonian mass extinction. Currently, the data surrounding a possible extra-terrestrial impact remains inconclusive, and the mechanisms which produced the Devonian mass extinction are still under debate.

Speculated Causes of the Permian Extinction (248 million years ago): Although the cause of the Permian mass extinction remains a debate, numerous theories have been formulated to explain the events of the extinction. One of the most current theories for the mass extinction of the Permian is an agent that has been also held responsible for the Ordovician and Devonian crises, glaciation on Gondwana. A similar glaciation event in the Permian would likely produce mass extinction in the same manner as previous, that is, by a global widespread cooling and/or worldwide lowering of sea level.

The Formation of Pangea

Another theory which explains the mass extinctions of the Permian is the reduction of shallow continental shelves due to the formation of the super-continent Pangea. Such a reduction in oceanic continental shelves would result in ecological competition for space, perhaps acting as an agent for extinction. However, although this is a viable theory, the formation of Pangea and the ensuing destruction of the continental shelves occurred in the early and middle Permian, and mass extinction did not occur until the late Permian.


A third possible mechanism for the Permian extinction is rapid warming and severe climatic fluctuations produced by concurrent glaciation events on the north and south poles. In temperate zones, there is evidence of significant cooling and drying in the sedimentological record, shown by thick sequences of dune sands and evaporites, while in the polar zones, glaciation was prominent. This caused severe climatic fluctuations around the globe, and is found by sediment record to be representative of when the Permian mass extinction occurred.

Volcanic Eruptions

The fourth and final suggestion that paleontologists have formulated credits the Permian mass extinction as a result of basaltic lava eruptions in Siberia. These volcanic eruptions were large and sent a quantity of sulphates into the atmosphere. Evidence in China supports that these volcanic eruptions may have been silica-rich, and thus explosive, a factor that would have produced large ash clouds around the world. The combination of sulphates in the atmosphere and the ejection of ash clouds may have lowered global climatic conditions. The age of the lava flows has also been dated to the interval in which the Permian mass extinction occurred.

Speculated Causes of the End-Cretaceous Extinction (65 million years ago):

The End-Cretaceous mass extinction has generated considerable public interest in recent years, in response to the controversial debates in the scientific community over its cause. The more prominent of these new hypotheses invoke extra-terrestrial forces, such as meteorite impacts or comet showers as the causative extinction agent. Older hypotheses cite earthly mechanisms such as volcanism or glaciation as the primary agent behind this mass extinction.

The K-T Boundary

Evidence for catastrophism at the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary is found in a layer of sediment which was deposited at the same time that the extinction occurred. This layer contains unusually high concentrations of Iridium, found only in the earth's mantle, and in extra-terrestrial meteors and comets. This layer has been found found in both marine and terrestrial sediments, at numerous boundary sites around the world.

Meteorite Impact

Some paleontologists believe that the widespread distribution of this Iridium layer could have only been caused by meteorite impact. Further, these researchers cite the abundance of small droplets of basalt, called spherules, in the boundary layer as evidence that basalt from the earth's crust that were melted and flung into the air upon impact. The presence of shocked quartz - tiny grains of quartz that show features diagnostic of the high pressure of impact - found in the boundary layer provides additional evidence of an extra- terrestrial impact at the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary layer. Recent research suggests that the impact site may have been in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico.

Volcanic Eruptions

The high concentrations of Iridium in the boundary layer has also been attributed to another source, the mantle of the earth. It has been speculated by some scientists that the Iridium layer may be the result of a massive volcanic eruption, as evidenced by the Deccan Traps - extensive volcanic deposits laid down at the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary - of India and Pakistan. These lava flows came about when India moved over a "hot spot" in the Indian Ocean, producing flows that exceeded one hundred thousand square kilometers in area and one hundred and fifty meters in thickness. Such flows would have produced enormous amounts of ash, altering global climatic conditions and changing ocean chemistry. Evidence that volcanism was a primary extinction agent at this boundary is also relatively strong. In addition, and the presence of spherules and shocked quartz worldwide in the boundary layer may also have been the result of such explosive volcanism. Thus at present, both the volcanic and meteorite impact hypotheses are both viable mechanisms for producing the Cretaceous mass extinction, although the latter is more popular.

Now these are suddenly transformed into warming events? Whatever has become of the once-venerable Royal Society that they now attribute just about everything to "global warming"?

"How Not to Measure Temperature, Part 33" - "Until now, most of the surface temperature measurement stations I’ve highlighted as substandard locations for measuring temperature accurately have been in the USA. Today, courtesy of Geoff Sherrington, we are treated to the sight of the main Australian historic site, Melbourne metropolitan, near LaTrobe St, Melbourne. He reports it has max-min temp records daily since 1855 to late 2007." (Watts Up With That?)

Letter of the moment: Weather control

Sir, I commend David Bellamy’s bravery in speaking out against the Johnsonian “clamour of the times” (Comment, Oct 22 ). In his masterpiece, The History of Rasselas, Prince of Abissinia (1759), Samuel Johnson writes of an astronomer who declaims that he can control climate: “. . . the sun has listened to my dictates, and passed from tropic to tropic by my direction; the clouds, at my call, have poured their waters . . .”

Unfortunately, Johnson points out that the astronomer was mad. And so are we if we continue to distort our politics and economics in the hubristic belief that, by fiddling with one factor at the margins, we can both predict and control the world’s climate. As Bellamy shows, the “self-proclaimed consensus” on “global warming” is more dangerous than climate change, and the attempts to smear critics like himself one of the most disreputable aspects of our increasingly illiberal age.

Emeritus Professor of Biogeography
University of London

Here's that problem again... "How to Cool the Globe" - "Which is the more environmentally sensitive thing to do: let the Greenland ice sheet collapse, or throw a little sulfate in the stratosphere?" (Ken Caldeira, New York Times)

No! No! And NO!

Regardless of how much of the estimated 0.6 ± 0.2 K temperature increase since the Industrial Revolution is attributed to human action the very last thing people want is for cooling to occur. The unfriendly cold of the Little Ice Age, in which our baseline temperature series are founded, is hardly some kind of ideal climate to which we should aspire. Humanity and the biosphere thrive when conditions are warmer and all suffer when conditions are cooler -- in short, cooling ain't cool!

No one bar Al Gore and perhaps the Hockey Team cabal actually give credence to Greenland ice shield collapse in the next thousand years or two and it's not even clear whether it is currently losing or gaining mass.

There is nothing particularly disturbing about the tropics and temperate zones expanding slightly toward the poles and it would not hamper efforts to feed humanity while preserving significant wildlife habitats. Having a bunch of numb nuts try to block sunlight (worse, actually succeeding in so doing) is truly terrifying. Blocking sunlight would cool the planet. It would also reduce phyto activity (i.e., plant growth and crop yields would decline) and make a Malthusian disaster much more likely.

Global warming angst and people's desire to take what ain't broke and fix it 'til it is is becoming really quite dangerous.

"Rolling Stone: ‘Human Race Is Doomed'" - "Want to know the fate of humanity? Why pick up a copy of Rolling Stone, of course. There you'll find the latest eco-extremist prediction designed to scare the world into global warming action. Gaia theory creator James Lovelock is in the latest issue predicting mankind will almost be wiped out by 2100 from global warming." (News Busters)

"An Inconvenient Truth: 23 minutes" - "Because Al Gore has become a prophet, this blog offers you 23 more minutes of An Inconvenient Truth, including Czech subtitles. ;-) In Czech, it is called "Nepříjemná pravda" (An Unpleasant Truth)." (The Reference Frame)

"The Global-Warming Debate Isn't Over Until It's Over" - "First he won the Oscar -- then the Nobel Peace Prize. He's being called a "prophet."

Impressive, considering that one of former Vice President Al Gore's chief contributions has been to call the debate over global warming "over" and to marginalize anyone who disagrees. Although he favors major government intervention to stop global warming, he says, "the climate crisis is not a political issue. It is a moral and spiritual challenge to all of humanity".

Give me a break.

If you must declare a debate over, then maybe it's not. And if you have to gussy up your agenda as "our greatest opportunity to lift global consciousness to a higher level," then it deserves some skeptical examination." (John Stossel, Townhall)

"Gore's Green academy" - "The University of Michigan has issued a press release congratulating “U-M researchers involved in the (IPCC's) Nobel-winning effort.” The list of academics gives an interesting insight into just how incestuous the IPCC and the green political movement have become.

Of the eight U-M researchers involved in the Nobel-winning IPCC reports, two have been directly employed by Gore while two others are not climate scientists but political scientists." (Henry Payne, Planet Gore)

"Climate change threat to peace, says German foreign minister" - "BERLIN — Climate change is a growing threat to world peace and has led to rival territorial claims in the Arctic that could turn into a Cold War, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said on Tuesday." (Reuters)

"The Fuzzy Math of Eco-Accolades: Plaudits for lower emissions don't mean they've been cut" - "On Feb. 2 a panel of climate experts convened in a modern U.N. building in Paris to deliver the latest dire news about greenhouse gases. Across town the World Wildlife Fund held a press conference to praise three large corporations as "climate savers." Sony (SNE ), Nike (NKE ), and French cement maker Lafarge had demonstrated that business can make "reasonable and meaningful" changes to stem global warming, the WWF announced.

Strangely, though, the companies' own environmental reports undercut the more hopeful Paris event. Carbon emissions from all three companies have been rising: Lafarge's by 11% over two years, Sony's by 17% in a one-year span. While Nike trimmed emissions from a small piece of its business, overall releases from operations have increased by 50% since 1998.

The WWF is one of several major environmental groups that have befriended corporations claiming to have reduced their role in global warming. The groups argue that by lending expertise, they can change corporate behavior. But in some cases companies are gaining green cred while making only dubious progress." (Business week)

The absence of laughter (Number Watch)

“Here’s A CO2!” - "Oh dear! It is all so predictable; so Gilbert & Sullivan. Today, John Vidal at The Guardian (‘Labour's plan to abandon renewable energy targets. Leaked documents detail strategy for climate change U-turn’) is weeping away because the British government is at last recognising the inevitable, namely that there is no way it can attain a renewables target of 20 per cent by 2020 (“9 per cent if you’re lucky, mate!”). Well done, Labour, say I. Meanwhile, the Global Carbon Project reports that, since 2000, the CO2 pumped into the atmosphere is 35 per cent more than the models absorb. Of course it is! [Well, actually not quite! When all CO2 is taken into account, we are just where we might expect to be. Still, I don’t want to spoil my story by ugly facts] Will they never learn? CO2 is a proxy for growth, and it will continue to be so for a long time to come. An off-the-shelf low carbon economy is but a utopian dream. China and India alone will see to that." (Global Warming Politics)

"Gore Says 2007 Pivotal Year in Climate Change Fight" - "BERLIN - Nobel Peace Prize winner Al Gore said on Tuesday he was optimistic future generations would look back at 2007 as the pivotal year when the world finally found the courage to fight together against climate change." (Reuters)

Fortunately there are growing signs this could be the year the world finally finds the courage to fight climate change hysteria.

"All Climatologists Aren't Scientists" - "Some people seem to believe that anyone who studies some physical phenomenon is a scientist and that anything a "scientist" say is to be accepted as if the "scientist" were a priest." (ReasonMcLucus)

"The Global-Warming Hucksters" - "The scaremongers are not always wrong. The Trojans should have listened to Cassandra. But history shows that the scaremongers are usually wrong." (Patrick J. Buchanan)

"Spanish conservative blasted for downplaying climate change" - "MADRID - The leader of Spain’s conservative party was blasted today for downplaying the threat from climate change at a conference attended by Al Gore, winner of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize for raising awareness of the issue.

When asked about climate change at a meeting in Palma de Mallorca late yesterday, Popular Party leader Mariano Rajoy said that it was "a subject we all have to be aware of but we can’t make it into a big global problem." (Sapa-AFP)

Not looking good for the UK: "Facing down the heat" - "His brief includes foot-and-mouth disease, and GM foods. But as the government's chief environmental scientist, Robert Watson's number one priority is the fight against climate change. Alok Jha reports" (The Guardian)

Predictably they squeeze gorebull warming into this, too: "California's age of megafires" - "Drought, housing expansion, and oversupply of tinder make for bigger, hotter fires." (The Christian Science Monitor)

"Santa Ana Winds, Frequent and Troublesome" - "Those often furious, sometimes deadly Santa Ana winds contributing to the Southern California wildfires are a phenomenon of geography as well as meteorology." (New York Times)

"CBS’s Pelley Uses Wildfires to Prove Global Warming" - "With Southern California in the midst of dealing with disastrous wildfires, on Sunday’s "60 Minutes," anchor Scott Pelley used the issue to promote Global Warming ideology. He did a segment on wildfires in the American west and declared in traditional alarmist fashion: "It appears that we're living in a new age of mega-fires, forest infernos ten times bigger than the fires we're used to seeing." (News Busters)

"The Fires This Time" - "While the fire cycle in Southern California is natural — an inevitable and necessary part of local wildland ecology — its economic impact is not." (New York Times)

"Two crucial factors fuelling California blazes" - "Climate change and a steady U.S. migration to the western states are helping to spread this year's fires" (Globe and Mail)

"Without Proof, NBC Presumes Global Warming to Blame for Wild Fires" - "ABC and CBS stuck Tuesday night with news stories on the impact of the roaring California wild fires, but as houses were still burning NBC Nightly News found it an opportune time to make the case that global warming caused the fires. NBC's sole expert, however, delivered a circular argument in which the lack of scientific proof did not detract at all from his media-shared presumption that anything bad which occurs in the environment can be tied to global warming. After reporter Anne Thompson cautioned scientists say you can't know “after just one season” whether warming is to blame, Princeton professor Michael Oppenheimer, a leading global warming alarmist who, NBC failed to mention, serves as a science adviser to Environmental Defense, reasoned:" (News Busters)

"Warning to NZ: Slow down on climate change" - "New Zealand should be a "fast follower" and not a leader in the race to reduce greenhouse gases, says a report issued today.

The New Zealand Institute report recommends the country delay meeting its emission reduction targets under the Kyoto Protocol to 2020, instead of 2012.

The influential think-tank says the country should follow other comparable nations in taking action to cut emissions - intended to slow global warming by reducing the amount of carbon dioxide in the air." (New Zealand Herald)

"Fran O'Sullivan: Playing follow the leader" - "The wakeup call from New Zealand Institute chief executive David Skilling over the clear economic exposure New Zealand faces if it makes the wrong call on climate changes policies is well timed." (New Zealand Herald)

"Business NZ joins chorus against 'rushed' climate policy" - "A group representing business interests has congratulated the New Zealand Institute for its "considered analysis" of the climate change issues facing New Zealand.

Chief executive of Business NZ Phil O'Reilly says the think-tank's report echoes his own organisation's concern about the haste with which the government is moving to set up a regulated scheme for emissions trading." (New Zealand Herald)

Oh boy... "Qld has cool idea for climate change" - "Queenslanders have been urged to set their fridge temperatures to four degrees celsius to help combat climate change.

The state government launched on Tuesday its new 'Cool it by Degrees' campaign, which aims to tackle global warming by changing simple household habits.

Premier Anna Bligh, who launched the initiative at Sea World's polar bear shores on the Gold Coast, said climate change was everyone's responsibility." (AAP)

Queensland's health system is in crisis enough without encouraging more food spoilage and gastro cases...

From CO2 Science this week:

The Gospel According to Sir John: Chapter 3: How do biofuels compare with fossil fuels in terms of global warming potential when greenhouse gases released to the atmosphere during biofuel production are considered?

Medieval Warm Period Record of the Week:
This issue's Medieval Warm Period Record of the Week comes from Sossusvlei, Namib Desert, Namibia. To access the entire Medieval Warm Period Project's database, click here.

Subject Index Summary:
Wetlands: How are they likely responding to the ongoing rise in the air's CO2 content?

Plant Growth Data:
This week we add new results (blue background) of plant growth responses to atmospheric CO2 enrichment obtained from experiments described in the peer-reviewed scientific literature for: Black Cottonwood, Eastern Cottonwood, Hybrid Poplar, and Timothy.

Journal Reviews:
A Brief History of Alaskan Permafrost: What's happened to it over the last 30 years? ... and why?

Millennial Cycling of Climate on the Iberian Peninsula: What does it reveal about the spatial scale of the Medieval Warm Period?

A 2000-Year History of Atmospheric Methyl Chloride: What can it tell us about the Medieval Warm Period and Little Ice Age?

Microevolutionary Responses to Global Warming: Can they occur?

CO2 and N2O Fluxes to and from Timothy-Sown Mesocosms: How does atmospheric CO2 enrichment impact the flux of nitrous oxide from, and carbon dioxide to, a boreal agricultural mineral soil upon which timothy is being grown?

Corinth City, MSTemperature Record of the Week:
This issue's Temperature Record of the Week is from Corinth City, MS. During the period of most significant greenhouse gas buildup over the past century, i.e., 1930 and onward, Corinth City's mean annual temperature has cooled by 0.71 degrees Fahrenheit. Not much global warming here! (co2science.org)

"Coal-burning power plants cause dangerous climate change" - "The growth of coal-burning power plants around the world may be the single greatest challenge to averting dangerous climate change.

Governments and the private sector, meanwhile, are spending too little on research into a partial solution, technology to capture and store such plants' carbon dioxide emissions, the group said.

The study by 15 scientists from 13 nations, "Lighting the Way: Toward a Sustainable Energy Future," was commissioned by the governments of China and Brazil and is the product of two years of workshops organized by the InterAcademy Council, the Amsterdam-based network of national academies of science." (AP)

"It's rip-off Britain, even when it comes to climate change" - "Gordon Brown's reluctance to embrace the economic and environmental potential of renewable energy technology is costing us time, money and could eventually cost us the climate, writes John Sauven, the director of Greenpeace UK" (The Guardian)

"China is no place for electric cars" - "China's coal-burning power stations mean electric car use will not help the country reduce CO2 emissions.

TOKYO - Japanese carmaker Toyota is working to improve its hybrid cars and develop electric cars for the future, but an official said on Monday that these vehicles would not help reduce CO2 emissions in China.

"In France, 80 per cent of electricity is produced by nuclear stations so if electric cars replace fossil fuel cars then you have a clear reduction in the emission of CO2," said Tatehito Ueda, a managing officer at Toyota Motor Corp.

"But in China they make electricity by burning coal, so China is not the place for electric cars," he told the Nikkei International Automotive Conference in Tokyo." (Reuters)

"Halt the gold rush to corn fuel" - "To take corn out of cereal bowls and put it into our gas tanks isn't an answer to global warming." (The Christian Science Monitor)

"Energy plan pushing up food cost: bank" - "ATTEMPTS to reduce US dependence on imported oil by adding more ethanol to its gas tanks are only driving up food prices while delivering moot energy benefits, a Canadian bank warned overnight." (The Australian)

"St. Bernard study casts doubt on creationism" - "The St Bernard dog – named after the 11th century priest Bernard of Menthon – may have ironically challenged the theory of creationism, say scientists.

Biologists at The University of Manchester say that changes to the shape of the breed’s head over the years can only be explained through evolution and natural selection." (University of Manchester)

"Time is Right for Biotech Wheat - US Growers" - "KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The time is right for a renewed push for biotech wheat, leading US wheat industry players said this week, as tight world wheat supplies and high prices underscore strong global demand for the key food crop." (Reuters)

October 23, 2007

"Pesticides are good for you" - "Scary headlines recently announced a study claiming that a pesticide causes prostate cancer and birth defects. Predictably, the study on banana plantations in the Caribbean islands of Martinique and Guadaloupe was seized on by environmentalists, in vindication of their beliefs about the dangers of agricultural chemicals. But, in spite of its alarmism, the study found no relationship between pesticide exposure and adverse health effects. Such hysteria does far more harm than good." (Professor Sir Colin Berry, CFD)

"Bad bugs, few drugs" - "There is a constant war between pathogenic bacteria and humans, and the microbes seem to be winning. New data from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) indicate the incidence of serious invasive infections from a strain of bacteria resistant to most first-line, commonly used antibiotics was higher than previously thought. The CDC estimates methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) kills 18,000 Americans each year and causes serious infections in more than 90,000.

The phenomenon is not new, but reports of outbreaks in schools across the nation and the death of a high school student in Virginia earlier this month have focused national attention on the problem." (Henry I. Miller, Washington Times)

"Brussels lifts threat to MRI scans" - "Scientists have welcomed the European Commission's decision to drop new rules that would have outlawed the use of MRI scanners in hospitals and medical research laboratories by next year.

The commission's physical agents directive was issued in 2004 to impose limits on peoples' occupational exposure to electromagnetic radiation.

But experts have argued that the directive, due to be in force in the UK by 2008, was too strict and would inadvertently limit the use of MRI scanners, a vital tool in clinical and research settings.

Today the commission is expected to announce that it will defer the introduction of the physical agents directive for another four years, pending a review of the latest research in the area." (The Guardian)

"Everyone says this doctor’s great" - "Have you ever had a problem with a car, computer or appliance and gone online for help, only to come away feeling like a shmuck because everyone, it seems, has had a bad experience and is saying they’ll never buy that product again? It’s a common phenomenon that those with complaints do a lot of complaining. Every business owner knows that an unhappy customer will tell a bunch of people, whereas a happy one may tell one other, if you’re lucky. Bad publicity isn’t always good for business.

Similarly, when people are personally invested in a health treatment or believe in it, they'll often paint a rosy picture and not reveal the downsides." (Junkfood Science)

"One size children" - "The results of two long-term studies of childhood obesity programs were published last week. The programs tried all of the prevalent techniques: childhood obesity prevention through intensive school-based education to teach ‘healthy’ eating and avoidance of sodas; and behavioral modification and social-environmental weight management, targeting families, peers and their environment to promote ‘healthy’ eating and physical activity.

Here's what they found." (Junkfood Science)

Early Halloween: Planet in Peril a CNN Worldwide Investigation, Takes Viewers to Front Lines of Environmental Change -- Airs Oct. 23 and 24 -- In a sweeping four-hour documentary about the threats to the world's environment, Planet in Peril takes viewers to places where environmental change is not a theory or just a future forecast, but a crisis happening in real time. (CNN)

Groan! "Carbon Dioxide Levels Up Faster Than Thought - Study" - "LONDON - Humans are pumping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere at an increasingly quicker pace while natural reservoirs such as oceans and trees are soaking up less and less of the greenhouse gas, researchers said on Monday." (Reuters)

Um, nope! Levels aren't rising anywhere near as fast as the IPCC's absurd 1%/yr, nor any of their alarmist 'storylines'. This despite humans mining and using carbon at record rates for the last 5 years or so. Something to which the atmosphere and temperatures have been strangely unresponsive. Using Mauna Loa as our global proxy (and even the South Pole remains within a couple of ppm of this number) then the peak year increment was 1998 (3 ppmv, probably due to warm ocean outgassing during the impressive El Niño), followed by 2003, 1988, 2005, 1973 (2.2, although 1974 was a mere 0.5)...

While there is some inter-annual variation of a ppm or two, the Keeling Curve (KC) provides an easy way for us to check what's going on. Still using Mauna Loa's figures (as befits a nod to Keeling), we derive the KC value 1959-1999 as (368/316)^(1/40)-1 or ~0.38%. To derive current expectation from the 1999 value then it is merely a case of calculating 368(1.003816^8) = 379.4, we were looking for an observed value of about 380 and calculated a value well within observed variability -- a tribute to Keeling's observations and the robustness of the Keeling Curve. Atmospheric carbon dioxide levels are pretty much exactly where they were expected to be and are certainly not showing any dramatic acceleration when they can be comfortably predicted with the KC.

That's the problem with simply taking the anthropogenic portion of emission estimates and extrapolating, isn't it, the world just doesn't cooperate.

For the curious, because someone always asks rather than calculating for themselves, according to Keeling (provided the sun doesn't decide to deliver another Maunder-style Minimum, which would mean the KC will dramatically overestimate), in 20 years the atmospheric CO2 level is likely to be ~410ppmv, in 50 years, ~460ppmv and 100 years from now ~555ppmv -- regardless of how successful Al's carbon scam should be and despite the worst machinations of the EU.

"A million square miles of open water" - "A couple of weeks ago, New York Times science writer Andrew Revkin wrote a piece titled “Arctic Melt Unnerves the Experts” in which he described this year’s record low Arctic summer sea ice extent and the how the dramatic decline over last year had caught many sea-ice scientists by surprise. Revkin goes on to interview a variety of experts on the topic of sea ice, most of which realize that some (most) of the sea ice decline observed over the past several decades is likely related to anthropogenic changes to the earth’s climate, while admitting that undoubtedly, some natural (non-human-influenced) processes likely contributed to the decline as well." (WCR)

Eye-roller: "At the Poles, Melting Occurring at Alarming Rate" - "For scientists, global warming is a disaster movie, its opening scenes set at the poles of Earth. The epic already has started. And it's not fiction." (Doug Struck, Washington Post)

Usual emotive pap without having done any real homework. The Antarctic is generally cooling as far as anyone can tell and this season set a new [observed] record sea ice extent. For reasons that appear peculiar to the circumpolar current the Antarctic Peninsular, in regions not actually within the Antarctic Circle, is warming and some relatively young associated ice shelves have been observed during collapse. Penguin colonies do appear to be reoccupying sites abandoned with the onset of the Little Ice Age although the major difficulties suffered recently have been too much ice failing to break up due to wind and wave shelter provided by large drifting (near stationary) ice bergs impeding parent bird transit too and from studied rookeries. Despite South Polar atmospheric carbon dioxide levels remaining within a couple of parts per million of the rest of the world (CO2 is a very well mixed gas) the Antarctic is ignoring gorebull warming.

The Long-Term View - Further to my earlier blog on the ‘Geological Decoupling of CO2’ (October 18), I thought it might be helpful for readers to place Earth’s climate history in some long-term geological perspective. (Global Warming Politics)

Climate Change - Is CO2 the cause? (Gust of Hot Air)

"Economics and politics, not science, fuel global warming claims" - "Los Angeles, CA Oct. 23, 2007 -- It took an article in an Australian newspaper to make Americans aware that prominent American meteorologist Dr. William Gray called the theory that won Al Gore a Nobel Prize "ridiculous." And that's worrisome to Holly Fretwell, author of The Sky's NOT Falling: Why It's OK to Chill about Global Warming (Kids Ahead Books, 0-9767269-4-7, for ages 8-12, Sept. 2007), a new book for kids designed to inform, not indoctrinate, on the subject of global warming." (PressMediaWire)

"Gore Science Versus Real Science" - "Once upon a time the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to individuals who dedicated their lives to the betterment of humanity. They focused on real world issues and championed real world solutions. In 1952, Dr. Albert Schweitzer won the Nobel Peace Prize for his humanitarian work. Dr. Schweitzer founded a hospital in French Equatorial Africa. He would later expand the facility and by the 1960’s the hospital would serve more than 500 patients at any one time.

In 1964, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. won the award for his leadership during America’s civil rights movement. Between 1957 and 1968 Dr. King had traveled more than 6 million miles and spoke more than 2,500 times as he advocated equal rights for all people.

In 1986, Holocaust survivor Eli Wiesel received the award for his human rights activities. He is the founding president of the Universal Academy of Cultures, in Paris, and chairman of the Eli Wiesel Foundation for Humanity, an organization he and his wife established to combat intolerance and injustice.

Things have changed." (Joe Bell, Opinion Editorials)

Here they go again: "Consensus declaration on coral reef futures" - “Being a coral reef scientist these days can be depressing. So many reefs around the world have collapsed before our eyes in the past few years,” says Professor Terry Hughes, Director of the ARC’s Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies. “But we’ve got to get past the gloom-and-doom, and use the best science to find practical ways to protect reefs from global warming.”

The world has a narrow window of opportunity to save coral reefs from the destruction caused by extreme climate change, according to a unanimous statement issued today by leading Australian scientists (see communiqué, above). The call for action is the outcome of a National Forum on Coral Reef Futures, held at the Australian Academy of Science, in Canberra.

“Local action can help to re-build the resilience of reefs, and promote their recovery. It is critically important to prevent the replacement of corals by algal blooms, by reducing runoff from land and by protecting stocks of herbivorous fishes,” says Prof Hughes.

“When corals die from pollution, disease or climate change, it affects all the other species on reefs that depend on corals. Without corals, the habitat is destroyed. Many reef fisheries are collapsing because of coral bleaching,” says Dr Morgan Pratchett, an Australian Research Fellow at James Cook University.

“Reefs cannot be climate-proofed except via reduced emissions of greenhouse gasses. Without targeted reductions, the ongoing damage to coral reefs from global warming will accelerate and soon be irreversible,” says Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, a Professor at the University of Queensland and Deputy Director of the ARC Centre.

Hughes and Hoegh-Guldberg are both contributing authors to the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which shares the latest Nobel Prize with Al Gore." (ARC Centre of Excellence in Coral Reef Studies)

Must be grant applications due or something because the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) is thriving, coral growth rates are believed to be increasing, trivial amounts of reef area suffered bleaching, affected only to depth of a meter or two and largely recovered and fish numbers are pretty stable with a large percentage or the massive reef complex off limits to fishing.

Moreover, corals thrive in warmer waters than found or expected for the GBR even under the absurd computer game-envisioned futures (see around PNG and the Mediterranean, for example), corals are largely limited by vertical restriction -- the reef has run out of sea room and must have increased sea levels to add significant mass -- meaning global warming would increase available coral habitat if it did actually accelerate sea level rise.

"GAO Report on Data Sharing in Climate Science" - "The U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO) has issued a report as requested by the House Energy and Commerce Committee last year on data sharing in climate. The full report is here. The Republican press release is here .

There are no signs that Lonnie Thompson will be required to archive his Dunde ice core sample data obtained in 1987 and still unarchived at the World Data Center for Paleoclimatology (which is perfectly well equipped to host this information without any new funding whatever). There’s no hint in this report that Ralph Cicerone of the National Academy of Sciences has acquiesced in Thompson withholding his data. From a quick browse, the answers of the program managers are infuriating. In a quick read, the report is far too prepared to accept pieties from program managers. For example, they do not appear to have made any attempt to follow up any of the cases that prompted the inquiry: Thompson, Jones, Mann, Briffa, etc." (Steve McIntyre, Climate Audit)

"Global Warming Questions Nobody Dares Ask Al Gore" - "While everybody on the face of the planet seems most interested in whether or not Nobel Laureate Al Gore is going to run for president in 2008, an article was published by Slate Monday asking questions of the Global Warmingist-in-Chief far more crucial than his future political aspirations." (News Busters)

Stealth taxation? Nah... "UK Says Will Not Use Carbon Revenues for Climate" - "LONDON - Britain will not use money the government gets from auctioning carbon emissions permits to help it in the fight against climate change, it said on Monday.

Selling carbon emissions permits to businesses participating in Europe's carbon trading scheme could raise 60 billion euros (US$85.24 billion) a year for European Union governments from 2013, Deutsche Bank estimates, and businesses are already lobbying for a slice of the windfall.

But Britain will pool any revenues into the general government budget, rather than earmark, or hypothecate, them to particular causes in advance." (Reuters)

"Mills fear carbon credits could sap trade" - "Sawmillers fear their businesses could become squeezed by log prices inflated by the value of carbon credits.

At a Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry briefing on the Government's new emissions trading scheme in Balclutha last week, sawmillers voiced concerns that if the price of carbon credits soared, log prices would also rise and their availability diminish." (New Zealand Herald)

"EU Cuts Portugal's Plan for 2008-2012 CO2 Permits" - "BRUSSELS - The European Commission said on Monday it had trimmed Portugal's plan allocating industry the right to emit carbon dioxide in 2008-2012 to 34.8 million tonnes annually, 3.1 percent less than the country's proposal.

The European Union's executive has required cuts in most of the CO2 plans it has received in an effort to shore up the emissions trading scheme, the 27-nation bloc's key tool to fight climate change." (Reuters)

"Global Oil Output Peaked in 2006 - German Think Tank" - "BERLIN - Global oil output peaked in 2006 and will decline by seven percent per year, a Berlin-based energy think tank said on Monday, drawing a bleaker picture of energy supplies than other forecasts.

Energy Watch Group, which has ties to the German Green Party, said in a report that oil production will fall by around 50 percent by as early as 2030, leading to economic and social upheaval." (Reuters)

 So, we can stop worrying about automotive fossil fuel emissions then?

Continued dimming of Left-Coast: "City turns lights out Saturday to conserve" - "San Francisco is turning its lights out for an hour Saturday night to increase awareness of light pollution and wasted energy." (UPI)

"Bosch Sees Scant Europe Demand for Hybrid Vehicles" - "FRANKFURT - Robert Bosch GmbH, the world's largest automotive parts supplier, expects potential growth markets for hybrid drive trains to be concentrated in NAFTA countries and Japan, the company said on Monday." (Reuters)

"British minister to advise PM to water down EU renewables target: report" - "Prime Minister Gordon Brown will be advised to try and water down an EU target for all the bloc's countries to procure a fifth of their energy from renewable sources, The Guardian reported in an early edition of its Tuesday paper.

According to the paper, which cited a draft copy of business minister John Hutton's presentation to Brown that it had seen, the prime minister will be told that the target is expensive and faces "severe practical difficulties." (AFP)

"EU row delays plans to cut greenhouse gas emissions" - "A row among European governments has forced the EU to postpone ambitious plans for tackling climate change before a crucial UN conference on the issue in Bali in early December.

It has emerged that the European Commission, due to announce on December 5 its proposals on how to cut CO2 emissions by 20% and use renewables for 20% of its energy consumption by 2020, has put off the plans until the new year." (The Guardian)

"Palm oil putting orangutans at risk" - "Conservationists meeting at the Brookfield Zoo near Chicago say growing demand for palm oil is putting Sumatran orangutans at risk of extinction." (UPI)

"British cod stocks rebounding" - "Researchers say cod stocks around Britain have rebounded enough to permit small catches in the North Sea, The Times of London reported Saturday.

Cod fish numbers remain stable in the south and have increased in the central to western parts of the North Sea, said the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas, which advises fisheries.

"This is excellent news, reflecting scientific proof of what the fishermen had been reporting for some time," said Bertie Armstrong, of the Scottish Fishermen's Federation." (UPI)

"Giant flock of lapwings discovered" - "Conservationists in Turkey are celebrating the discovery of a previously unknown flock of sociable lapwings, once thought to be nearing extinction.

Researchers -- who previously thought there were only 400 breeding adults left -- were surprised to discover a flock of 3,200, The Times of London said Friday." (UPI)

"Algae-in-a-vat may power the future" - "Genetically modified green algae could one day produce stored energy in the form of hydrogen gas, say Australian researchers, fuelling a hydrogen economy.

Associate Professor Ben Hankamer of the University of Queensland and colleagues report they have increased the sunlight-capturing efficiency of algae that can pump out hydrogen.

If successfully scaled up, the researchers say this could complement or be an alternative to our present carbon-based economy." (ABC Science Online)

October 22, 2007

“'Fat Camps' for Tots" - "Now, babies and toddlers with puppy fat are being sent off to “fat camps” to educate them and their parents about ‘healthy’ foods and exercise." (Junkfood Science)

"Obesity epidemic among children is 'overstated'" - "A STUDY has revealed that the obesity epidemic among children has been grossly overstated, and that the problem is concentrated among poorer families and some ethnic groups.

Fairfax newspapers say the study shows children from low-income families are twice as likely to be obese as children from high-income families, and their risks are increased if they are from Pacific Islander, Middle Eastern, Aboriginal or southern European background.

Based on a national sample of 8500 children aged six to 18, the study of health, fitness and fatness is the first of its kind to measure social class and ethnicity.

Jenny O'Dea, associate professor of nutrition and health education at the University of Sydney, will present the findings today at the Community and Change conference, hosted by the university's faculty of education and social work.

Dr O'Dea said the child obesity rate is "not rocketing out of control" and appears to be levelling off.

"There's a suggestion the whole of Australia is at risk of obesity and that's been blown out of the water by this research," she said." (AAP)

"JFS Special: The latest research on actual deaths seen after surgery for weight loss" - "Will bariatric surgery for weight loss extend or shorten a patient’s life? After more than 40 years of these medical interventions being practiced, surprisingly, this basic question has remained unanswered. The largest and strongest study to date examining death rates after bariatric surgeries has just been published in the journal Archives of Surgery." (Junkfood Science)

"When healthcare isn’t about caring" - "Even a man who has devoted his life to charitable work to help the poor, sick and disadvantaged is being denied medical care because he is “too fat.” Bishop Gow has been told he must starve himself to lose weight before he would be considered for an operation that could relieve him of excruciating pain from a degenerative knee disorder." (Junkfood Science)

"Health warning over 'ready-to-eat' food" - "PRE-PREPARED salads and other "ready-to-eat" foods pose a salmonella threat, according to one of Britain's leading microbiologists. Professor John Threlfall, of the government's Health Protection Agency (HPA), has urged consumers to disregard assurances on packaging and wash the contents again before eating.

Prof Threlfall warned that salmonella infections linked to ready-to-eat salads and herbs were rising, while other experts warned that such products could also be a source of E coli 0157 which can be fatal." (The Scotsman)

"Mercury, Climate and the Food Web" - "Writing in Environmental Health Perspectives (2005), Booth and Zeller [hereafter BZ05] embark on the highly ambitious task of applying ecosystem modeling to the difficult problem of tracing the flow of methylmercury (MeHg) - the biologically active, potentially toxic form of mercury - in the Faroe Island marine ecosystem as changing functions of both fish mortality (commercial catch rates) and climate. The paper further attempts to estimate weekly MeHg intake by the Faroese from consumption of mainly pilot whale meat and cod fish - two key sources of MeHg exposures in Faroese diets." | Doing Harm: The Mercury Scare (Robert Ferguson, SPPI)

"40 years on, 'Bigfoot' film still the benchmark for believers" - "Forty years after two cowboys filmed an unidentified creature ambling through a California forest, hunters of "Bigfoot" say the grainy footage remains the cornerstone of their belief in the legendary ape-like beast's existence." (AFP)

"End global inequality: become a Luddite" - "In its new World Economic Outlook the International Monetary Fund looks at the politically freighted question of globalisation and inequality. Scanning press accounts of the document I thought for a moment there must be two such publications. The study I had read was not what others were writing about. Instead it turns out that we all read the same report, and that I do not know a story when I see one.

“IMF Fuels Critics of Globalisation,” was the headline in the Wall Street Journal. “Technology and foreign investment are making income inequality worse around the world, the IMF said in a new report, handing critics of globalisation a powerful argument to use in their political battles,” the article began. Subtracting a little from that powerful argument are the study’s main findings. First, incomes of the poor are rising around the world, in industrial and developing countries alike. Second, liberal trade reduces inequality – again, in poor countries as well as in rich countries. Third, technology not globalisation in its own right is the principal driver of inequality. If this report helps the critics of globalisation, you have to wonder what it would take to shut them up." (Clive Crook, Financial Times)

Yeah, sure... "Scientists a step closer to steering hurricanes" - "Scientists have made a breakthrough in man's desire to control the forces of nature – unveiling plans to weaken hurricanes and steer them off course, to prevent tragedies such as Hurricane Katrina.

The damage done to New Orleans in 2005 has spurred two rival teams of climate experts, in America and Israel, to redouble their efforts to enable people to play God with the weather.

Under one scheme, aircraft would drop soot into the near-freezing cloud at the top of a hurricane, causing it to warm up and so reduce wind speeds. Computer simulations of the forces at work in the most violent storms have shown that even small changes can affect their paths – enabling them to be diverted from major cities.

But the hurricane modifiers are fighting more than the weather. Lawyers warn that diverting a hurricane from one city to save life and property could result in multi-billion dollar lawsuits from towns that bear the brunt instead. Hurricane Katrina caused about $41 billion in damage to New Orleans." (London Telegraph)

"ABC's Stossel Takes on Gore Movie, Talks to Dissenting Scientists" - "On Friday's "20/20," ABC's John Stossel presented the views of scientists who dissent from the Al Gore view of global warming, including two former members of the IPCC – the committee which shared the Nobel Peace Prize with Gore. These scientists disagreed with the selection process of the committee's members and some of its conclusions. The ABC host disputed some of the claims in "An Inconvenient Truth," and even presented the view that increased carbon dioxide levels are the result of global warming, rather than the cause, as he took on Gore's famous graph from the movie. Stossel: "But the real inconvenient truth is that carbon increases came after temperature rose -- usually hundreds of years later. Temperature went up first. I wanted to ask Mr. Gore about that and other things, but he wouldn't agree to talk about this." (News Busters)

"SPPI Reports 35 scientific errors in Gore’s climate movie: vindicates UK High Court" - "SPPI today reveals 35 errors in Al Gore’s discredited climate movie An Inconvenient Truth (http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/monckton/goreerrors.html).

The Viscount Monckton of Brenchley, an expert witness in the UK legal case condemning the movie, compiled the science-based list in response to recent inaccurate public comments by Gore’s environment advisor relative to the High Court’s findings.

Said Monckton, “Each of Gore’s 35 errors distorts or exaggerates in one direction only – toward unjustifiable alarmism. The likelihood that all 35 would fall one way by inadvertence is less than 1 in 34 billion. Gore’s movie is not only inaccurate but prejudiced. The movie is unsuitable for children. It should not be shown in schools.” (SPPI)

"ROSEN: Al Gore's ignoble Nobel" - "Here's a prediction: Someday, when future generations look back on the Great Global Warming Panic of the early 21st century and Al Gore's 2007 Nobel Peace Prize (for fanning global warming hysteria with selective propaganda and gross exaggerations), Gore's award will be regarded as even more preposterous than Yasser Arafat's Nobel for bringing peace to the Middle East." (Mike Rosen, Rocky Mountain News)

"Unstoppable skeptic" - "In the great, never-cooling debate over the causes and consequences of global warming, it's always clear whose side Fred Singer is on: not Al Gore's. Singer, who was born in Vienna in 1924, was a pioneer in the development of rocket and satellite technology and holds a Ph.D. in physics from Princeton.

Now president of the Science & Environmental Policy Project research group (sepp.org), his latest book (with Dennis Avery) is "Unstoppable Global Warming Every 1,500 Years." I talked with Singer -- who will debate global warming issues with climate scientist Charles Keller Thursday at a sold-out event at Duquesne University -- by phone from his offices in Arlington, Va.:" (Bill Steigerwald, Tribune-Review)

"Global Warming Delusions" - "The popular imagination has been captured by beliefs that have little scientific basis." (Daniel B. Botkin, Opinion Journal)

"Today’s forecast: yet another blast of hot air" - "Why I would rather be called a heretic on global warming" (David Bellamy, The Times)

Brave Liberty Speaks - Following on from my Sunday blog (‘The Liberty of Opinion’, October 21), I should like today to ask you to read three brave commentaries and one hilarious article which challenge the tyranny of the times:

(a) The first is by Professor David Bellamy, a fine man who has suffered the most dreadful personal abuse because he refuses to bow down to ‘The Great God of Global Warming’. I am delighted that The Times has this morning allotted him its key Op.Ed. slot for a splendid denunciation of “the self-proclaimed consensus” on ‘global warming’. (linked above)

I should also like to ask you, if you have a moment, to write a ‘Letter to the Editor’ of The Times in support of David’s article [he is bound to receive the most vitriolic of attacks]. The e-mail address is as follows: letters@thetimes.co.uk [the Subject will come up automatically]. Please note that you must provide a full snail-mail address and a contact telephone number in your e-mail. I should also advise you to keep the letter short (between 100 and 200 words)... (Global Warming Politics)

Poorly aimed scare piece: "Oceans are 'soaking up less CO2'" - "The amount of carbon dioxide being absorbed by the world's oceans has reduced, scientists have said.

University of East Anglia researchers gauged CO2 absorption through more than 90,000 measurements from merchant ships equipped with automatic instruments.

Results of their 10-year study in the North Atlantic show CO2 uptake halved between the mid-90s and 2000 to 2005." (BBC)

Never mind that this is a mere decade of data restricted to the North Atlantic let's just look at the ways this misfired:

  • tramples on another scare: if oceans 'saturate' and stop taking more CO2 then ocean acidification will decline to nothing and builders of chalky skeletons are safe (they are anyway but never mind)
  • automated ship cooling water intake measures only sample the very top ocean layers and don't tell us whether more CO2 is being mixed deeper by wind and wave action or biological activity
  • data is constrained to increasingly busy shipping lanes which may factor in increased upper layer mixing -- there's a lot of induced turbulence from all that merchant fleet plying the waters in set lanes and considerable crowding of lanes even hundreds of miles from ports, there is zero possibility of sampling undisturbed waters
  • atmospheric levels are not keeping up with increased emissions, telling us that sinks are more active than previously estimated or that the half-life of atmospheric CO2 is much less than previously estimated -- either way projections and 'storylines' are significant overestimates

Not their best scare piece of late, is it?

In praise of Carbon

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.
H. L. Mencken

Children are having nightmares about their carbon footprint. What a pretty pass modern man has brought himself to! Frightening children with scary stories about hell fire is the way our ancestors drilled society into conformity. It might have been hoped that the age of science would bring all that to an end, but now we have entered the post-scientific age, in which a new class of high priest returns to the traditional methods of enforcement. In order to establish the essential fear-provoking scenario they have nominated in the role of original sin one particular element, one atom out of the whole gamut. It is a choice that is bizarre to the rational mind, yet one that conforms to the long established principles of the founding of authoritative religions. Why is it bizarre? If you are of a mind to seek out magic and miracles look no further than the sixth member of the periodic table of elements. (Number Watch)

Nothing like coloring your argument... "Worldwide solutions are needed to deal with the effects of climate change" - "Nothing annoys scientists who study climate change more than the question of whether it is really happening. Nothing, that is, with the possible exception of the related question of whether climate change is a man-made phenomenon.

They get annoyed because the scientific consensus is that the world is getting warmer, that the climate is changing in dangerous ways we can't fully comprehend and that change is being triggered by gases that humans are pumping into the atmosphere. The debate over "whether" is over, they insist. The urgent question now is how we should respond.

But there will always be skeptics of climate change, some more credible than others, just as there were skeptics who refused to accept that cigarettes caused cancer and that a human being was capable of running a mile in under four minutes.

The difference is that in the case of climate change a possibility remains that the skeptics may be right." (Vancouver Sun)

... this opening has it all. Catastrophic climate change is a fact, it's caused by people, skeptics are like tobacco shills, there's a small possibility that skeptics might have a point. There, that should take care of any reporting bias concerns.

Still on coloring: "Climate change blamed for fading foliage" - "EAST MONTPELIER, Vt. -- Every fall, Marilyn Krom tries to make a trip to Vermont to see its famously beautiful fall foliage. This year, she noticed something different about the autumn leaves.

"They're duller, not as sparkly, if you know what I mean," Krom, 62, a registered nurse from Eastford, Conn., said during a recent visit. "They're less vivid."

Other "leaf peepers" are noticing, too, and some believe climate change could be the reason.

State tourism officials reject the notion that nature's palette is getting blander. Erica Housekeeper, spokeswoman for the state Department of Tourism and Marketing, said she had heard nothing but positive reports from foresters and visitors alike this year.

The problem is perception, Housekeeper says: Recollections of autumns past become tinged by nostalgia.

"Sometimes, we become our own worst critics," Housekeeper said." (Associated Press)

"The Global Warming Deceptions" - "The scientific opposition to the discredited theory of man-made global warming has been large and enduring. It also has been studiously ignored, dismissed, or attacked." (Michael R. Fox,  Hawaii Reporter)

"More a cause than a science: Global warming is the new Key to All Mythologies." - "Since the days of Isaac Newton, Western science has advanced our knowledge of the world and the cosmos to an almost miraculous degree. We know enough now perhaps to say with the force of real truth what was not possible to say before our time: that now we know how little we know." (Rex Murphy, CERC)

Last week a few people got excited about a NOAA release on Arctic warming, so, here's a couple of perspective pieces: "Ancient Clues from a Frozen Forest" - "Troy L. Péwé once discovered an interesting patch of woods near Ester, about nine miles east of Fairbanks. The spruce and birch trees of this forest were underground, sandwiched between layers of earth. Each tree was 125,000 years old.

Péwé, with the geology department at the University of Alaska Fairbanks from 1953 to 1965 and now with the department of geology at Arizona State University, found the forest when he worked for the U.S. Geological Survey in 1949. At the time, the U.S. government had assigned Péwé and other scientists to study permafrost. Péwé examined hillside cuts made by gold miners in Ester and found trees frozen between layers of loess. Loess, pronounced "luss," is silt produced from the grinding action of glaciers that has been picked up by winds and carried elsewhere.

Because the trees were buried about 45 feet below the present-day forest at Eva Creek, Péwé knew they were old. How old he didn't find out until 50 years later, after methods of finding the age of extremely old things had been developed. One of those methods, a system for determining the age of volcanic dust, proved particularly useful. Because pencil-thin layers of volcanic ash line the soil above and below the frozen forest, Péwé and others were able to get a rough estimate of the trees' age. Péwé said the frozen forest at Eva Creek thrived at a time that was up to 5 degrees Celsius warmer than it is today, when there was little-to-no permafrost.

Because the frozen forest is full of charred trees, Péwé suspects there were a lot of forest fires 125,000 years ago. Insect galleries carved into the bark of some of the frozen spruce indicate that the spruce bark beetle was also here then." (Ned Rozell, Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska Fairbanks) -- h/t Dennis A.

II: "Formerly Frosty Footing Causes Drunken Forests" - "Science Forum reader Trudy Parcher of Bellingham, Washington, wants to know more about an eye-catching Alaska roadside attraction, the drunken forest.

In a drunken forest, trees--often pipe-cleaner black spruce--tilt in all directions like a group of rowdy revelers stumbling along the street. Unlike pendulous pub patrons, drunken forests aren't caused by beer, but by unique soil conditions found in the north.

Melting permafrost is the most common cause of the drunken forest. Permafrost is ground where the temperature remains below 32 degrees Fahrenheit year-round. According to Tom Osterkamp, a professor of physics with the Geophysical Institute, permafrost is found under 85 percent of Alaska's land area, mostly the northernmost 85 percent. Except for mountain tops, Southeast Alaska is permafrost-free, and Southcentral is nearly so.

Drunken forests can be seen in permafrost-rich areas of the Interior. Osterkamp says drunken forests form when ice-rich permafrost thaws, causing the ground surface to sag. Nearby trees--which have adapted wide, shallow root systems to hold on to what little soil is available above the permafrost table--bow toward the newly formed depressions. Presto, drunken forest.

Actually, it takes a long time for a drunken forest to form. When spruce seeds first drop to the ground and germinate on the future site of a drunken forest, it isn't pock-marked with soupy depressions. The permafrost is still frozen, providing a deceptive foundation. Trees grow normally for perhaps 50 years, until the permafrost gets warm enough to melt and create a thermokarst, the scientific name for a ground slump caused by melting permafrost.

Osterkamp says trees sometimes recover from leaning in a drunken forest by growing back toward the sky. He and his colleagues recently found a spruce tree with a curved, bow-like trunk. By the unique pattern of the tree rings, they determined the tree began its fight to right itself after a thermokarst developed 120 years ago. (Ned Rozell, Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska Fairbanks) -- h/t Dennis A.

"As sea level rises, Bangkok is sinking" - "The still expanding megapolis rests about 31/2 to 5 feet above the nearby gulf, although some areas already lie below sea level. The gulf's waters have been rising by about a tenth of an inch a year, about the same as the world average, says Anond Snidvongs, a leading scientist in the field.

But the city, built on clay rather than bedrock, has also been sinking at a far faster pace of up to 4 inches annually as its teeming population and factories pump some 2.5 million cubic tons of cheaply priced water, legally and illegally, out of its aquifers. This compacts the layers of clay and causes the land to sink." (AP)

"A Man's Got To Do What Mann Won't Do" - "No doubt many blog readers will be familiar with the infamous 'Hockey Stick' graph, which used 'proxy' reconstructed temperature data up to 1980, grafted onto Hadley CRU instrumental data. The IPCC liked it so much that it appeared several times in the Third Assessment Report of 2001, thus enhancing the man-made global warming scare. A very different graph was used in the 1995 report, which clearly showed a Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age.

To cut a long story short, Steve McIntyre and Ross McKitrick published critiques of the Michael Mann et al 'Hockey Stick' in 2003, which were updated in further publications in 2005 (GRL and E&E), followed in 2006 by a presentation to the National Academy of Sciences Expert Panel, “Surface Temperature Reconstructions for the Past 1,000-2,000 Years.” (JenniferMarohasy.com)

"UN Climate Chief Looks for Bali Breakthrough" - "WASHINGTON - Global warming talks in Bali in December need to make a breakthrough or international efforts to limit greenhouse gases could be in "deep trouble", the top UN climate official said on Friday." (Reuters)

No, efforts to limit greenhouse gases are "deep trouble".

"Global warming battle" - "After years of doing nothing on global warming, Congress may now be on the verge of a serious, bipartisan effort to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

You might think environmentalists would be elated. You would be wrong. The problem is this: the "America's Climate Security Act" bill unveiled on Thursday (10/18) by Sen. Joseph Lieberman, Independent from Connecticut, and Sen. John Warner, Republian from Virginia, uses a pollution credit trading system to achieve relatively modest reductions. And it allows carbon "offsets" -- in other words, it allows companies to pay cash instead of reducing their pollution." (Bay & Environment)

Kind of like Al, huh... windfall profits while pretending to do something about the phantom menace.

Oh dear... "Commentary: The Greater Caribbean This Week: Global warming today" - "Global warming today proves, if proof were needed, that the world has always been a global village. We are all connected to one another, from one end of the world to the other. Moreover, this phenomenon calls on us all to act to stabilise the atmosphere by at least 1° C in the years to come.

Today, weather phenomena are striking hard. For example in 2003, the world saw its hottest year for 500 years. This heat wave caused thousands of deaths in Europe. In December 2004, there was the Tsunami in South East Asia that caused the deaths of 273,435 people and caused considerable material damage to the road and tourist infrastructure. We could also mention Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana and the Gulf of Mexico, whose intense sea surges and winds knocked over the barriers and defences of the city of New Orleans. 1836 people died and material damages were put at billions of dollars." (Watson R. Denis, Caribbean Net News)

Dr Watson Denis is the Political Advisor at the Secretariat of the Association of Caribbean States.

Unfortunately Dr Denis would appear to know squat about climate, tsunamis or hurricanes since the undersea earthquake that generated the Sea East Asian tsunami is not associated with either climate, hurricane [cyclone] or weather, there is no clear indication whether warming is actually conducive to hurricane [cyclone] development or maintenance and the heat wave deaths in Europe were an appalling case of societal neglect of the elderly and infirm, no more, no less.

"Little Green Lies" - "The sweet notion that making a company environmentally friendly can be not just cost-effective but profitable is going up in smoke. Meet the man wielding the torch." (Ben Elgin, Business Week)

"EU Commission Delays Emissions Trading Proposals" - "LISBON - The European Commission has delayed for several weeks a package of sensitive proposals on sharing and trading greenhouse gas emissions and on renewable energy, a spokesman for the EU executive said on Friday." (Reuters)

"'Global action' needed on climate change" - "Australia can do nothing on its own to reduce the environmental effects of climate change, a leading nuclear scientist says.

The opinion of Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) chairman and former Telstra chief Ziggy Switkowski flies in the face of community campaigns claiming 'we can all do our bit to combat climate change'.

Dr Switkowski told the Australian Nuclear Association conference in Sydney that while nuclear was the inevitable way to meet Australia's increasing baseload energy requirements and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the immediate priority must be to find cleaner ways to burn coal.

He said Australia's greenhouse gases were already "locked in" for the next generation, partly because the nation had moved at such a slow rate on nuclear development and acceptance." (AAP)

Imagine that... "China: Help poorer nations with climate change" - "A senior Chinese official urged the international community in Washington to make greater efforts to help developing countries deal with climate change.

"Securing global energy safety and preventing global climate change has an important bearing on the national economy and people's livelihood in the world," Li Yong, China's vice finance minister, said at a ministerial meeting of the Group of 24 (G-24).

China believes that the international community should follow the principle of "common but differentiated responsibility" and make greater efforts to transfer technologies to the developing countries so as to help them improve their capacity for dealing with climate change, he said." (Xinhua)

Paid not to develop: "Scheme to stop deforestation will pay for carbon not emitted" - "Tropical countries that stop the logging or burning of their rainforests could be paid for the carbon they stop reaching the atmosphere, under proposals to be discussed at UN climate change talks in December." (London Telegraph)

"Blackout Of Reason" - "Power plant permits have been rejected in Kansas, but not because the plants would discharge filth into the air. The denial was based on carbon emissions, the first time such a thing has happened in the U.S. It's a shameful milestone." (IBD)

"KS Governor Sets Dangerous Precedent for Farmers" - "The administration of Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius has blocked a new power plant from being built, despite looming energy shortages, because, like virtually all power plants, it will emit carbon dioxide(CO2). GOP legislators are upset about this." (Hans Bader, Cooler Heads Blog)

"Price of Media Warm-mongering: Kansas Denies Coal-fired Power Plant License" - "On Thursday, for the first time in American history, a state denied an electricity producer a construction license for a coal-fired power plant due to manmade global warming fears." (Noel Sheppard, News Busters)

"U.S. warms to the Earth's 'untapped potential'" - "The federal government has been sending teams to the geysers and lava fields of Iceland in recent weeks to search for ways to reduce U.S. dependence on coal and oil.

Their answer might lie deep under Iceland's black rocks, where hot water percolates from the heat of the earth's internal movements — and provides 72 percent of the island nation's energy." (Tom Ramstack, Washington Times)

<guffaw!> "Carbon health warnings for all new cars" - "All advertising for new cars will have to carry cigarette-style “health warnings” about their environmental impact, under a European plan to force manufacturers to reduce carbon dioxide emissions." (The Times)

"Carmakers to Win Time on CO2 Cuts, Face Ad Rules" - "LONDON - Car makers are likely to be given three years extra breathing space on CO2 emissions cuts but could face environmental health warnings on their adverts following a European Parliament debate next week." (Reuters)

"Exports fuel China's CO2 output" - "A quarter of China's greenhouse gas emissions are produced making goods exported to the West, a report from a UK government-funded body has found." (BBC)

"Calif. Will Sue EPA Next Week on Emissions Waiver" - "LOS ANGELES - California will sue the Environmental Protection Agency next week in the state's bid to crack down on greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles, a spokesman for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said on Saturday. (Reuters)

"Farming Faces Phosphate Shortfall"  -"RIO DE JANEIRO - Scarcity of phosphate, an indispensable crop fertiliser, is worrying soil experts, given the voracious plans of Brazil and many other countries in the race for biofuel leadership." (IPS)

"EGYPT: An Environmental Make-Over for an Ancient Industry" - "CAIRO - Air pollution is so bad in Cairo that living in the sprawling city of 18 million residents is said to be akin to smoking 20 cigarettes a day. According to the World Health Organisation, the average Cairene ingests more than 20 times the acceptable level of air pollution a day." (IPS)

The Liberty Of Opinion

If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind.
(John Stuart Mill, On Liberty, 1859).

In the UK, we are in grave danger as a society. John Stuart Mill was a Londoner, born in Pentonville in 1806, and On Liberty is the most powerful defence of the freedom of opinion ever published. We should be deeply ashamed when the Science Museum of London, of all institutions, withdraws its invitation to speak from a distinguished scientist, the geneticist James Watson, because of his opinions. Moreover, as Henry Porter argues so tellingly in today’s The Observer about the Watson incident (‘His views are hateful. But so is the attempt to deny him a voice’), we should raise an eyebrow when we hear the Mayor of Mill’s London, the ever-opinionated Ken Livingstone, state that: “Such views are not welcome in a city like London.” As Mill wrote: “Truth gains more even by the errors of one who, with due study and preparation, thinks for himself, than by the true opinions of those who only hold them because they do not suffer themselves to think.” Moreover, I personally dislike a number of Mr. Livingstone’s own views, but I do not wish to ban him from London. (Global Warming Politics)

"Emory paleontologist reports discovery of carnivorous dinosaur tracks in Australia" - "The first fossil tracks belonging to large, carnivorous dinosaurs have been discovered in Victoria, Australia, by paleontologists from Emory University, Monash University and the Museum of Victoria (both in Melbourne). The tracks are especially significant for showing that large dinosaurs were living in a polar environment during the Cretaceous Period, when Australia was still joined to Antarctica and close to the South Pole." (Emory University)

"Birth of an iceberg" - "This animation, comprised of images acquired by Envisat’s Advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar (ASAR) instrument, shows the breaking away of a giant iceberg from the Pine Island Glacier in West Antarctica. Spanning 34 km in length by 20 km in width, the new iceberg covers an area nearly half the size of Greater London.

The animation highlights the movement in the area between September 2006 and October 2007. The Pine Island Glacier is visible stretching from the right of the image to the centre. The tongue of Pine Island is shown moving inland between September 2006 and March 2007. Between April and May 2007, the detached iceberg in front of Pine Island moves significantly. Also in May 2007, a crack in Pine Island becomes visible. By October, the new iceberg has completely broken away.

Several different processes can cause an iceberg to form, or ‘calve’, such as action from winds and waves, the ice shelf grows too large to support part of itself or a collision with an older iceberg. Since Pine Island Glacier was already floating before it calved, it will not cause any rise in the world sea level.

Iceberg calving like this occurs in Antarctica each year and is part of the natural lifecycle of the ice sheet. A 34-year long study of the glacier has shown that a large iceberg breaks off roughly every 5-10 years. The last event was in 2001." (European Space Agency)

If at all unfamiliar, hype a scare: "Scientists have a new way to reshape nature, but none can predict the cost" - "Synthetic biologists say their technology could tackle climate change and feed the hungry, but its dangers are terrifying" (Madeleine Bunting, The Guardian)

"Monsanto Files Suit Against French GMO Activists" - "PARIS - The French unit of US Biotech giant Monsanto has filed a lawsuit following the latest destruction of some of its test fields for genetically-modified maize. In a statement issued on Friday, Monsanto said that unidentified activists had ransacked three test fields in Valdivienne in central France after dark on Thursday." (Reuters)

October 19, 2007

Where are the class action lawyers when you need them? Hey Al Gore, We Want a Refund! - ":A British judge ruled on the eve of Al Gore co-winning the Nobel Peace Prize that students forced to watch "An Inconvenient Truth" must be warned of the film’s factual errors. But would there be any science at all left in Gore’s "truth" if these errors and their progeny were excised? " (Steven Milloy, FoxNews.com)

Follow up on yesterday's 'expanding Earth' animation, apparently the artist is serious and it is not a deliberate spoof. A number of people have commented on magical mass creation (why should the IPCC have an exclusive on Marvelous Magical Multipliers?), observed subduction etc., etc. and we have no intention of further wasting anyone's time on it. We still think it's a nice piece of art work though.

"Arctic report card warns of reduction in sea ice" - "Climate change is continuing to progress in the Arctic, according to the first annual edition of an "Arctic Report Card" issued by a US-led team of scientists.

While some elements of the complex Arctic climate system and its associated ecosystems showed a stabilisation in warming, observations collectively indicated that the overall warming of the Arctic as a whole continued in 2007, the scientists said. Some changes are larger and happening faster than previously predicted by supercomputer climate models.

"The bottom line is we are seeing some rapid changes in the Arctic," said Richard Spinrad, assistant administrator for oceanic and atmospheric research at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration which released the report this week." (London Independent)

Unfortunately we don't know whether there is anything at all unusual about said rapid changes because we've really only just begun looking, although there are clues to be found in past alarm:

Arctic Ice Melt ! (21 Dec 2000)

"A considerable change of climate inexplicable at present to us must have taken place in the Circumpolar Regions, by which the severity of the cold that has for centuries past enclosed the seas in the high northern latitudes in an impenetrable barrier of ice has been, during the last two years, greatly abated."

"2000 square leagues [approximately 14,000 square miles or 36,000 square kilometers] of ice with which the Greenland Seas between the latitudes of 74° and 80°N [roughly NNE of Jan Mayen] have been hitherto covered, has in the last two years entirely disappeared."

"The floods which have the whole summer inundated all those parts of Germany where rivers have their sources in snowy mountains, afford ample proof that new sources of warmth have been opened ..."

This is not the latest scare story from the greenhouse industry, but extracts from a letter by the President of the Royal Society addressed to the British Admiralty, recommending they send a ship to the Arctic to investigate the dramatic changes.

The letter was written, not in the year 2000, but in 1817. History repeating itself?

(The reference; Royal Society, London. Nov. 20, 1817. Minutes of Council, Vol. 8. pp.149-153. Thanks to Dr Tim Ball of Canada for the intel.)

Interesting translation from Russia-InfoCentre: "What Does Arctic Climate Tell Us?" - "Russian scientist claims global warming can be just a temporary inconvenience, since climatic changes show their natural fluctuating patterns and depend on our Sun’s activity level. Research fellow of the Arctic and Antarctic research and science centre suggests the phenomenon, widely known as global warming, is not more than a natural variation." (RIC)

"New Task for Coast Guard in Arctic’s Warming Seas" - "WASHINGTON, Oct. 18 — For most of human history, the Arctic Ocean has been an ice-locked frontier. But now, in one of the most concrete signs of the effect of a warming climate on government operations, the Coast Guard is planning its first operating base there as a way of dealing with the cruise ships and the tankers that are already beginning to ply Arctic waters." (New York Times)

"Drunken Trees" - "The other week the busy little bees who are working on Nobel Al’s new book… what, you didn’t know Gore was working on a new book? Yep, apparently in the works is a book on climate change and its solutions, supposedly titled “A Path to Survival” in which Gore lays out, well, you can probably figure that out. As we have detailed previously Gore is more than just a little out there when he starts talking about the climate change threats to human’s survivability on Earth. So, we don’t yet know whether his new title will be shelved in the science or science fiction section." (WCR)

"BBC: 'I've Got A Little List” - "Over the next six years, the BBC is going to have to cut 2,500 jobs (see: ‘BBC cuts back programmes and jobs’, BBC Online Entertainment News, October 18). I’m sure the Director General, Mr. Mark Thompson, will have a rough time making tough choices. I therefore thought he might appreciate some help. Here, then, is my little list (with deepest apologies to W. S. Gilbert, The Mikado, and above all to Ko-Ko, Lord High Executioner of the town of Titipu):" (Global Warming Politics)

"Geological Decoupling Of CO2" - "Although this blog largely focuses on the politics of ‘global warming’, from time to time I shall aim to bring to the fore critical science on climate change that may have been overlooked in the Johnsonian “clamour of the times”. Today, I wish to highlight a thoughtful examination of the lack of correlation between atmospheric carbon dioxide and climate during three key geological time periods." (Global Warming Politics)

"Skeptics Fight on in Climate Debate" - "Some scientists say politics and power are drowning out valid concerns" (Epoch Times)

"More rain and no change in drought and flood occurrences due to global warming" - "Countless times and time again, we are being told that we will be getting more droughts and less rain due to global warming. We've also discussed how the CSIRO website climatechangeinAustralia has looked at devastating trends since 1950.

Apparently, global warming likes to increase rainfall in some places and decrease in others. Who knows why!

But I was strangely interested in why the website only mentions rainfall trends since 1950. Australia has great and accurate rainfall data going back to the start of the 20th century, so why not use these? I'll show you why." (Gust of Hot Air)

"Andrew Bolt: Mad ideas crack me up" - "NOT a month goes by without even more crackpot schemes to save a planet that shows no sign of sickness - and we are the ones to suffer." (Herald Sun)

"Sensational" - "The findings by the UK judge announced last week that Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth failed to tell the whole truth on more than a few occasions received a fair degree of press coverage and, of course, a great deal of outcry from Gore defenders worldwide.

Now, “the Gore Team” has come to its own defense on a Washington Post blog site. In running down the list of supposed “errors” in An Inconvenient Truth, it is the basic contention of the Gore team that the scientific issues that Gore was trying to get a cross to a lay audience were far more complex than he had the time (or desire?) to adequately explain in a 90-minute feature film (or in the accompanying 328 page book; hint, use a smaller, albeit less dramatic, typeface next time).

For instance, concerning Gore’s use of the glacier recession on Africa’s Mt Kilimanjaro (through a series of historic photographs and flowery language) to illustrate the effects of global warming, despite the fact that the majority of scientific evidence is that factors other than temperature (such as exposure, humidity, and precipitation) are primarily responsible to the loss of ice atop the mountain, the Gore Team justifies that, well, global warming is undoubtedly making things worse there." (WCR)

"When Ants Go Sweating: Zoologists to Study Climate Change Effects" - "A North Carolina State University zoologist is the lead researcher on a five-year, $3 million study that will turn up the heat on a number of ant species to learn more about the effects of climate change." (NC State)

"Hungry microbes share out the carbon in the roots of plants" - "Sugars made by plants are rapidly used by microbes living in their roots, according to new research at the University of York, creating a short cut in the carbon cycle that is vital to life on earth." (University of York)

We could wish... "Brisbane 'will be part of tropics'" - "A PROJECTED temperature rise in southern Queensland that would effectively make the region part of the tropics could spell disaster for its grain industry, researchers suggest.
However, the tropical conditions could also provide an opportunity to expand the sugar cane and ethanol fuel industries, Queensland University of Technology's Peter Grace said today." (AAP)

"Lawmakers Propose Bill on Global Warming" - "A Senate blueprint for tackling global warming would require power plants and vehicles to reduce their greenhouse gases by 70 percent. A chief sponsor said President Bush's approach of voluntary action will not meet the goal.

The proposal Thursday by Sens. John Warner, R-Va., and Joe Lieberman, a Connecticut independent, was seen as a compromise that could get the 60 votes needed to pass, perhaps next year." (AP)

"Inhofe Slams New Cap-and-trade Bill As All ‘Economic Pain For No Climate Gain'" - "WASHINGTON, DC - Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, commented on the introduction of S. 2191, "America's Climate Security Act" by Senators Joe Lieberman (ID-CT) and John Warner (R-VA), calling the legislation yet another in a series of global warming cap-and-trade bills that would cripple our economy while achieving no real environmental benefits." (E&PW)

"Climate Change is Investment 'Megatrend' - Deutsche" - "BEIJING - Government efforts to tackle climate change are creating a "megatrend" investment opportunity that should tempt even those sceptical about the nature and pace of global warming, Deutsche Bank analysts said on Thursday.

"The climate change markets are being created by governments through their regulation," said Mark Fulton, the bank's global head of strategic planning and climate change strategist." (Reuters)

Stop and think about that for a minute. What they just said is that taxpayer and consumer funds are being transferred by regulatory fiat into the pockets of global warming scammers and this is growing into a "megatrend".

"Water whets the appetite of commodity traders with an eye to the next fortune" - "Global shortages of water could lead to the precious liquid being exchanged in a similar way to permission schemes used by countries for carbon dioxide, the head of one of the world’s leading exchanges said yesterday.

Craig Donohue, chief executive of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME), said that water could become a commodity as droughts and demand place huge pressures on river systems and water tables." (The Times)

"Ethical Development to Cool Off the Planet" - "BELO HORIZONTE, Brazil - Brazilian Environment Minister Marina Silva suggested an ethically and politically sustainable development model at a conference in this southeastern Brazilian city that has brought together national and international authorities and experts, business leaders and researchers to discuss solutions to fight climate change in the region." (IPS)

"BOLIVIA: Slash and Burn - a Smoking Gun" - "LA PAZ - Every year, when the (southern hemisphere) spring arrives in Bolivia, the skies are covered with smoke, while anti-pollution campaigns to dissuade farmers from using their traditional slash-and-burn farming technique fall on deaf ears." (IPS)

"Chinese growth 'to overtake US'" - "For the first time in modern history, China will next year contribute more to global economic growth than the United States.

The landmark moment was predicted yesterday by the International Monetary Fund and is the latest illustration of the fast-growing Asian country's importance to the world economy.

While China's economy is still far smaller than America's, it has overtaken the UK as the world's fourth biggest economy. With the IMF projecting 10pc growth this year, the country will pump more new money into the global system next year than the US, which is expected to grow by just 1.9pc." (London Telegraph)

"EU attacks China's trade empire" - "The European Union launched a concerted attack on China's expanding trade empire yesterday, accusing it of building up surpluses through unfair practices.

In a briefing that will significantly ratchet up protectionist tensions, the EU ambassador to China said requests for the issue to be addressed had met with no response." (London Telegraph)

"Cold colony vulnerable to environmental challenge" - "Owners of the Antarctic territories may be ill-prepared to face a major environmental challenge to the continent, according to a Queensland University of Technology academic.

QUT media and communication lecturer Dr Christy Collis said that, with its massive resources of fresh water and unknown quantities of oil, Antarctica could be ripe for exploitation once resources in the rest of the world became scarcer." (Queensland University of Technology)

"Plans for coal power plants scrapped" - "BILLINGS, Mont. - At least 16 coal-fired power plant proposals nationwide have been scrapped in recent months and more than three dozen have been delayed as utilities face increasing pressure due to concerns over global warming and rising construction costs.

The U.S. Department of Energy‘s latest tally of pending coal plants, released last week, shows eight projects totaling 7,000 megawatts have been canceled since May. That‘s besides the cancellation earlier this year of eight plants in Texas totaling 6,864 megawatts. Utilities have also pushed back construction on another 32,000 megawatts worth of projects, according to the Energy Department report.

Coal has been a mainstay for utilities, producing half of all electricity consumed in the United States. But it‘s also one of the largest sources of greenhouse gases blamed for climate change." (Associated Press)

"Experts Worry That World Oil Production May Soon Peak" - "Energy experts from around the world have gathered in Houston for a three-day conference on the issue of peak oil, which involves predictions that world oil production will soon reach its peak and then go into decline. This could cause a global economic crisis since demand for energy is not expected to slow, but, in fact, is expanding rapidly. VOA's Greg Flakus has more from Houston." (VOA News)

"Energy-hungry India seeks to tap Africa for oil" - "New Delhi, Oct 16 Keen to increase its fossil fuel supplies from Africa, India is organising a hydrocarbon conference that would be attended by oil ministers from 15 African countries.

'The hydrocarbon sector is an obvious choice for our intensive engagement with Africa as countries there account for 16 percent of India's crude oil imports,' said a petroleum ministry official." (IANS)

"India, China will outpace other countries with the help of nuke power by 2027: IAEA official" - "Shanghai, Oct.16: A senior International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) official has said that China and India will outpace other countries in the next two decades with the help of nuclear power.

"In China, in India, you have very definite plans for increasing the nuclear capacity six to 10 times for 20 years, this is really fast growth. The growth of the world is not so fast," said Yury Sokolov, IAEA's Deputy Director-General and the Head of the Department of Nuclear Energy." (ANI)

"Renewable fuels lobby calls for--drum roll please--more government support!" - "In this post, I comment on Renewable Fuels Association President Bob Dinneen’s opening statement, “America’s Energy Future Is at a Crossroads,” at this week’s “Cellulosic Ethanol Summit” in Washington, D.C. Dinneen’s remarks are indented; my comments follow." (Marlo Lewis, Cooler Heads Blog)

"Victims of the ethanol rush: Loss of the native prairie" - "The Great Plains of Kansas are being transformed by America's thirst for alternative fuels. Some are calling it an ecological disaster. Leonard Doyle reports from Beaumont." (London Independent)

"First Analysis of the Water Requirements of a Hydrogen Economy" - "One of the touted benefits of the futuristic US hydrogen economy is that the hydrogen supply—in the form of water—is virtually limitless. This assumption is taken for granted so much that no major study has fully considered just how much water a sustainable hydrogen economy would need.

Michael Webber, Associate Director at the Center for International Energy and Environmental Policy at the University of Texas at Austin, has recently filled that gap by providing the first analysis of the total water requirements with recent data for a “transitional” hydrogen economy. While the hydrogen economy is expected to be in full swing around 2050 (according to a 2004 report by the National Research Council [NRC]), a transitional hydrogen economy would occur in about 30 years, in 2037.

At that time, the NRC predicts an annual production of 60 billion kg of hydrogen. Webber’s analysis estimates that this amount of hydrogen would use about 19-69 trillion gallons of water annually as a feedstock for electrolytic production and as a coolant for thermoelectric power. That’s 52-189 billion gallons per day, a 27-97% increase from the 195 billion gallons per day (72 trillion gallons annually) used today by the thermoelectric power sector to generate about 90% of the electricity in the US. During the past several decades, water withdrawal has remained stable, suggesting that this increase in water intensity could have unprecedented consequences on the natural resource and public policy." (PhysOrg.com)

"How Many Economists Does It Take..." - "To oppose energy legislation that will undoubtedly affect the nation's lightbulbs? Well, the National Taxpayers Union has a letter from 234 economists warning Congress against making the same old mistakes:

"We write to strongly advise against the inclusion of damaging anti-market provisions in the energy bills moving through Congress," the statement began. "History has shown that attempts by the federal government to tax, regulate, and subsidize our way to more plentiful and secure energy have failed miserably."

What? Don't these people know that scientists have decided unanimously that energy taxation, regulation and subsidy are the only way to save the planet? How dare these economists talk about the economy as if they knew something about it!" (Iain Murray, Cooler Heads Blog)

"Gateses' bold new goal: to wipe out malaria" - "The last time a drive was launched to eradicate malaria, the year was 1955 and the call came from the governments of the world through the United Nations.

Now, two people from Seattle are challenging the world to take up the cause again.

Because their names are Bill and Melinda Gates, the world is paying attention." (Seattle Times)

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"Bulldozing the American Dream" - "‘Urban renewal’ schemes that rely on eminent domain disproportionately harm the poor, writes Timothy B. Lee." (The American)

Don't know how they do it... "Influenza spreads readily in winter conditions" - "Low temperatures and relative humidities have been linked to the rapid spread of influenza in a new study by researchers, led by Dr. Peter Palese, from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. The study, published in PLoS Pathogens, supports the theory of the seasonal flu." (Public Library of Science)

"Who are we working for?" - "Concerns over the pervasive and growing influences of vested interests in the practice of medicine, clinical practice guidelines and pay-for-performance measures, public health policies, medical and nursing school training, and medical research, including clinical trials, have been growing for years and discussed here frequently. But realizing just how extensive and deep the conflicts have infiltrated medicine can be hard to grasp. A report just published in the Journal of the American Medical Association has attempted to quantify academic-industry ties and the results may be startling to some." (Junkfood Science)

"Government forecasts" - "The obesity news coming from the UK has been a source of international incredulity. This week, the report commissioned by the UK government’s Foresight Programme of the Office of Science and Technology was released, in support of some of the most massive governmental anti-obesity policies in the history of the world. Led by chief scientific advisor at the government office, Sir DavidKing, the Foresight project was overseen by “a high level Stakeholder Group” to gather “scientific evidence from across a wide range of disciplines to inform a strategic view of this issue.” (Junkfood Science)

"James Watson: an inconvenient father of DNA" - "James D. Watson, a 79-year-old American co-discoverer of the DNA molecule - one of the most profound discoveries of the 20th century science - and a Nobel prize winner for a hard discipline became the latest target of political correctness." (The Reference Frame)

"As he arrives in Britain, DNA pioneer breaks his silence on racism row" - "James Watson, the Nobel laureate who shocked the world with his views on race and intelligence, has defended his position in an exclusive article for The Independent today in which he seeks to justify his theory that there is a genetic basis behind differences in IQ.

Dr Watson, who helped to unravel the structure of DNA more than 50 years ago, apologises for any offence that he caused when he suggested in an interview at the weekend that black Africans were less intelligent than Westerners." | James Watson: To question genetic intelligence is not racism (London Independent)

"Transgenics transformed: Maize mini-chromosomes can add stacks of functional genes to plants" - "A new method of constructing artificial plant chromosomes from small rings of naturally occurring plant DNA can be used to transport multiple genes at once into embryonic plants where they are expressed, duplicated as plant cells divide, and passed on to the next generation -- a long-term goal for those interested in improving agricultural productivity." (University of Chicago Medical Center)

October 18, 2007

Junkman Steve Milloy Responds to Shrill Claims of Ethanol Lobbyists - WASHINGTON, Oct. 17 -- Speaking to the Cellulosic Ethanol Summit taking place in Washington DC, Renewable Fuels Association president Bob Dinneen issued a statement which may be read here:

Rather than addressing issues such as rising processed food prices due to grain price increases, rising meat prices due to grain price hikes, water pollution caused by increased pesticide and fertilizer use, soil erosion and taxpayer concerns about rising subsidies, Mr. Dinneen chose to attack the "nattering nabobs of negativity" who voice legitimate concerns about his industry's agenda.

Steve Milloy, publisher of JunkScience.com, remarked that, "We acknowledge that stupid subsidies exist, they are pork and pork is part of politics. We understand that even if we don't like it. Ethanol advocates declare in the most sanctimonious manner imaginable that ethanol isn't pork, that it is, in fact, the morally, socially, economically, environmentally-sound fuel of the future. They verge on hysteria when they tell you about the so-called Brazilian miracle, which actually boils down to fueling cheap, tiny cars in 2 Brazilian cities. They become apoplectic over the carbon imprint of gasoline, conveniently forgetting how much fossil fuel is needed to produce their miracle fuel. They sold ethanol to the public not as pork, but as the fuel that will transform industrial economies and make the world a better place. Now, Bob Dinneen of the Renewable Fuels Association is on the verge of a hissy fit demanding governmental protection and financial assistance to protect his lobby from an 'insidious campaign' by his critics. Dinneen doesn't understand that when you change the image of a product from pork to a marketable item, the marketplace decides what to do with it. He needs to calm down, stop the rent-seeking and convince Wall Street that ethanol isn't an organic black hole. (JunkScience.com)

"John Stossel Exposes Global Warming Myths" - "'20/20' co-anchor John Stossel is going on the attack against “experts” who warn about manmade global warming – along the way berating Al Gore for saying the debate over climate change is over.

In a release from ABC previewing Stossel’s report on Friday’s “20/20,” the veteran newsman and Newsmax pundit – who won 19 Emmys exposing scammers and con artists – says:

“This week on ‘20/20’ (in our new 8 p.m. Eastern time slot) I say ‘Give Me a Break!’ to our Nobel Prize-winning Vice President." (Newsmax)

Good question: "How can you predict global warming if you can't predict rain?" - "Some say climate change is part of a complex natural cycle – so complex, in fact, that it can't be forecast. Are current climate models reliable?" (The Christian Science Monitor)

The answer, of course, is that we cannot, despite the ludicrous language of NASA & Hansen's media releases, e.g.:

"Research Finds That Earth's Climate is Approaching 'Dangerous' Point" - "NASA and Columbia University Earth Institute research finds that human-made greenhouse gases have brought the Earth's climate close to critical tipping points, with potentially dangerous consequences for the planet." (GISS, May 30, 2007)

which suggests modelers confuse their toys' output with actual data, despite Hansen (with a very large et al list) recently having published Dangerous human-made interference with climate: A GISS modelE study (6Mb .pdf, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 7, 2287-2312.), containing the following admission:

2.4 Principal model deficiencies
ModelE (2006) compares the atmospheric model climatology with observations. Model shortcomings include ~25% regional deficiency of summer stratus cloud cover off the west coast of the continents with resulting excessive absorption of solar radiation by as much as 50 W/m2 , deficiency in absorbed solar radiation and net radiation over other tropical regions by typically 20 W/m2 , sea level pressure too high by 4–8 hPa in the winter in the Arctic and 2–4 hPa too low in all seasons in the tropics, ~20% deficiency of rainfall over the Amazon basin, ~25% deficiency in summer cloud cover in the western United States and central Asia with a corresponding ~5◦ C excessive summer warmth in these regions. In addition to the inaccuracies in the simulated climatology, ...

Now, who honestly believes that a model, which its developers and maintainers freely admit cannot emulate within 20-50 Wm-2 over huge slabs of the planet and is seasonally 5 °C (9 °F) too warm over significant land masses, accurately depicts the effect of 3.7 Wm-2 (the IPCC's claimed increase in forcing for a doubling of atmospheric CO2)?

Really, this scare gets sillier by the day.

"Earth’s Albedo Tells an Interesting Story" - "Thanks to one of our commenters (thanks Henry), this unique project called “Earthshine” being done at the Big Bear Solar Observatory has been brought to my attention. The project is simple in concept:" (Watts Up With That?)

"The Global Warming Learning Curve" - "Data discrepancies are fascinating. I was researching the topic of global warming and happened upon the results of a survey conducted in July by Yale University's School of Forestry & Environmental Studies addressing American opinions of global warming. According to the press release issued by the school, "Americans consider global warming an urgent threat." I didn't pause very long before diving quickly into our data to see if this urgent threat was reflected in the way we search. If, as the study claimed, "nearly half of Americans believe that global warming is either already having dangerous impacts on people around the world or will in the next 10 years," we have a funny way of showing it.

What we say (in surveys) and how we act (in this case, by searching on the Internet) show a very different story. Interest in global warming spiked at the beginning of this year, rising to three times its normal level on Feb. 1, 2007, coinciding with Al Gore's Nobel Peace Prize nomination. But since then, the volume of searches on "global warming" have dropped off precipitously to the lowest levels in the last year save for a brief recovery in advance of the actual award of the Nobel Peace Prize to Gore last week." (Bill Tancer, Time)

This again... "Acid oceans warning" - "The world’s oceans are becoming more acid, with potentially devastating consequences for corals and the marine organisms that build reefs and provide much of the Earth’s breathable oxygen.

The acidity is caused by the gradual buildup of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere, dissolving into the oceans. Scientists fear it could be lethal for animals with chalky skeletons which make up more than a third of the planet’s marine life." (ARC Centre of Excellence in Coral Reef Studies)

Wouldn't you think an entity named ARC Centre of Excellence in Reef Studies would know something about the evolution of critters with chalky skeletons?

The Ordovician period (510-438 million years ago) was an era of extensive diversification and expansion of numerous marine clades. Although organisms also present in the Cambrian were numerous in the Ordovician, a variety of new types including cephalopods, corals (including rugose and tabulate forms), bryozoans, crinoids, graptolites, gastropods, and bivalves flourished. Ordovican communities typically displayed a higher ecological complexity than Cambrian communities due to the greater diversity of organisms. However, as in the Cambrian, life in the Ordovician continued to be restricted to the seas.

What's significant about this? Not much, it's just that the Ordovician is characterized by atmospheric CO2 levels of 4,000-5,000 ppmv, more than 10-times higher than current (or worried about) levels. Do we really think current historically near-record low levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide could so reduce the alkalinity of the oceans as to trouble taxa that evolved under much more extreme conditions? Really?

"The fastest continent" - "50 million years ago the Indian sub-continent collided with the enormous Eurasian continent with a velocity of about 20 cm/year. With such a high velocity India was the fastest of the former parts of Gondwanaland, according to a report by a team of scientists from the GeoForschungsZentrum Potsdam (GFZ, Germany’s National Lab for Geosciences) and the National Geophysical Research Institute, India, in the 18th October 2007 edition of the Science Magazine "Nature". Due to this collision at such high velocities the largest mountain belt on Earth, the Himalayas, was formed, as was the massive Tibetanplateau." (Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres)

We don't know if this is really meant to be a spoof but it's pretty funny: Conspiracy of Science - Earth is in fact growing (You Tube video animation).

Perhaps it's where Al gets his information: "See! Global warming is real -- Earth is undergoing thermal expansion!"

Hats off to whoever put so much time and effort into the animation though, it's one slick bit of nonsense.

"The dangers of fried food and a fried planet" - "Claims that the ‘obesity epidemic’ is as bad as climate change suggest that modern society is bingeing on scare stories." (Rob Lyons, sp!ked)

"RFK Jr Makes Outlandish Claim" - "This one takes the cake. If there was a Nobel Prize for Absurd Assertions (hmmm, perhaps there is) RFK Jr would win it hands down with this one:

If — you know, the National Academy of Sciences did a study an inventory, three years ago, of all of the scientific documents that had — the peer reviewed, refereed scientific documents that had been published in the previous decade, over 10,000 documents, 10,000 scientific studies. All of them agreed on the basics: that global warming exists; that human beings are causing it; that it’s upon us now; and that its impacts are going to be catastrophic. In the scientific community, there was literally zero dissent.

There is no such study. The NAS did not conduct such a survey. This is either a complete fabrication or a massive confusion. Neither speaks well about RFK Jr’s credentials to speak as an authority on the subject.

I think RFK Jr is simply confused. Here’s where I think he got it from: a few years back, Naomi Oreskes, an historian, wrote an “Essay” feature for the magazine Science, which is published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, entitled “The Scientific Consensus on Climate Change” (subscription required). She claimed to have reviewed

928 abstracts, published in refereed scientific journals between 1993 and 2003, and listed in the ISI database with the keywords “climate change.”

This was an error. As she admitted in an Erratum, she actually searched under the terms “global climate change.” If she had used just “climate change” she would have got about 10,000 results." (Iain Murray, Cooler Heads Blog)

Now might be a good time to repeat: "Digging up the roots of the IPCC" - "The UN's all-powerful climate change panel is no straightforward scientific body. It is a deeply political organisation that was born out of disenchantment with progress." (Tony Gilland, sp!ked)

"Global warming policies skewed by consultant: JLF analyst says environmentalist group pushed alarmist agenda" - "RALEIGH – North Carolinians should question the process that’s leading to proposals for fighting global warming in the Tar Heel state. That’s the warning from a John Locke Foundation analyst who has monitored the process.

“This process has been skewed from the start toward the agenda of global warming alarmists,” said Dr. Roy Cordato, JLF Vice President for Research and Resident Scholar. “Today’s planned announcement of proposals for addressing climate change is really just a ‘dog and pony show’ to provide some cover for the alarmist agenda.”

A group called the Climate Action Plan Advisory Group (CAPAG) is scheduled to unveil 56 proposals today. Those proposals are billed as ways North Carolina could address problems linked to climate change. The proposals include items that would raise taxes, restrict land use, and increase energy costs. The N.C. Division of Air Quality set up CAPAG with the help of a consultant called the Center for Climate Strategies, Cordato said.

“The problem is that the Center for Climate Strategies is no objective consulting firm,” he said. “It is an advocacy group disguised as a consultant. This group tied to the Pennsylvania Environmental Council has been bought and paid for by a battery of leftwing foundations. For several years it has been infiltrating state government all across the country.” (Press Release)

At least partly right... "Don't neglect poor for sake of the environment, says World Bank boss" - "The west will fail to combat global warming unless it can convince deeply sceptical poor nations that the fight to reduce carbon emissions will not come at the expense of poverty reduction, the president of the World Bank, Robert Zoellick, said last night.

In an interview with the Guardian to mark his first 100 days in the job, Mr Zoellick warned the Bank's rich-country shareholders that "they would not be successful" if they tried to change the focus of the Washington-based institution from development to cutting greenhouse gas emissions." (The Guardian)

... any attempt to control the planet's temperature through manipulation of carbon dioxide emissions is doomed to failure. Moreover, 'carbon constraint' has exactly zero environmental benefit in these times of carbon insufficiency in the biosphere (it was once plentiful but biological sequestration over millions of years has seen it become scarce, although human activity has seen some slight recovery).

Another one... "Ex-UN Boss Launches Forum for Climate Change Fight" - "GENEVA - Former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan on Wednesday launched a "Global Humanitarian Forum" which he said would focus on coordinating international efforts to counter the effects of climate change." (Reuters)

"‘Planet in Peril’ Thanks to CNN Marketing Team" - "Last night on the Colbert Report, Stephen Colbert took CNN's marketing team to task, pointing out the hypocrisy of putting a "six foot square poster in each of the 2.3 million copies of today's the USA Today. That's 13.8 million square feet of ‘Planetary Peril.'" Planet in Peril a program airing next week on CNN. Colbert who could barely keep himself from laughing went on to say, "Now the paper is recycled but hopefully that glossy ink isn't going to biodegrade anytime soon, so awareness of this threat is going to be around for centuries. Brilliant marketing CNN, you have strategically insured the planet will still be in peril by the time your special airs next week." (News Busters)

"Gore Wins; Facts Lose" - "The world has become such a difficult and dangerous place that I am deeply appreciative of recent amusing events, which seem as if they were written by the Marx Brothers or Monty Python. I have in mind, it should go without saying, Al Gore winning both an Academy Award and the Nobel Peace Prize. The very sentence sounds like a punch line. But I can't quite figure out who is supposed to be the butt of the joke. I rather suspect that he has one more award to come -- the trifecta of absurdism. Perhaps he will be pronounced the world's greatest jockey or the world's most graceful dancer. It only makes sense, given Al Gore's acknowledged role in bringing the Internet to humanity. Whatever the award, the world will receive it with the same demeanor it displayed in appreciating the emperor's new clothes several centuries ago.

It is hard to say which of Al Gore's awards seems more improbable: his Academy Award, although he does not possess a single skill required for filmmaking, or his Nobel Peace Prize for his work on global warming, although he has no technical skills in that area and he has misled the world profoundly as to the danger. It just goes to show how good life can be once you officially are designated a victim of George W. Bush. Once Gore lost the 2000 election (before which he was scorned and mocked by the liberal world), the world fell over itself, showering him with wealth and honor. If only he could arrange to lose another election to a Republican, he could be chosen Pope, Homecoming King and Soapbox Derby champion." (Tony Blankley, Real Clear Politics)

"Al Gore's Wacky Facts" - "Facts don't matter. Only spin matters.

That's the main conclusion to be drawn from the fact that Al Gore was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize last week.

My complaint has nothing to do with the science of global warming or whether or not the current warming of the planet is due solely to manmade causes. Rather, it's this: Gore won the prize even though his documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, concludes with one of the most blatantly absurd statements ever committed to film." (Robert Bryce, CounterPunch)

"Al Gore Got a D in Natural Sciences at Harvard" - "Want to know why Nobel Laureate Al Gore likely doesn't want to debate any of the myriad of scientists and politicians that have challenged him to such a tête-à-tête regarding his manmade global warming theories?

Could it possibly be because Gore was a terrible science student, and clearly never excelled at anything relating to what folks in Norway and in the media consider him to be so expert at?" (News Busters)

"Rising Temperatures Said Endanger Arctic" - "The Arctic is under increasing stress from warming temperatures as shrubs colonize the tundra, changing wildlife habitat and local climate conditions, researchers said Wednesday.

Sea ice fell well below the previous record, caribou are declining in many areas and permafrost is melting, according to the annual update of the State of the Arctic report.

"The bottom line is we are seeing some rapid changes in the Arctic," said Richard Spinrad, assistant administrator for oceanic and atmospheric research at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration." (AP)

Perhaps, but why? Can't be gorebull warming because the Antarctic is not following the script by getting colder.

"Global Warming Good for Greenland?" - "For some in Greenland these days, the grass is looking greener." (National Geographic News)

"Get Ready for NBC’s Weeklong Global Warming Propaganda Blitzkrieg" - "Just when you thought it was safe to turn on an NBC-owned station, the network is getting ready to bombard citizens with a weeklong manmade global warming propaganda blitzkrieg that's destined to make Nobel Laureate Al Gore and his Norwegian sycophants smile like a polar bear that's just bagged a juicy seal.

It appears the good folks at NBC didn't feel they lost enough money -- and good will! -- pushing this absurd issue down citizens' throats during July's failed "Live Earth" concerts." (News Busters)

"Reporting on global warming not clean, simple" - "So NBC's "Today" show has unveiled big plans for next month to jet its stars to the far reaches of the planet -- Matt Lauer in the Arctic, Al Roker at the Equator and Ann Curry in Antarctica -- for live broadcasts aimed at alerting us to the effects of global warming.

You know, the phenomenon said to be exacerbated by 21st Century conveniences that spew carbons into the environment, such as, um, jet travel." (Phil Rosenthal, Chicago Tribune)

From the Monty Python playbook: "Miners join walk for cooler future" - "The miners' union has joined a national campaign lobbying the Federal Government to combat global warming.

National president of the Construction Forestry Mining Energy Union (CFMEU), Tony Maher, joined political and environmental groups today in calling on the Federal Government to act to prevent temperatures from rising more than two degrees Celcius.

"Coal miners are citizens too and they don’t want catastrophic climate change," Mr Maher said." (ninemsn)

No one said you had to be smart to be a union organizer but this guy's as dumb as a doorknob. Bottom line, Tony, is that the Greens don't want your members to have a job at all and your opportunistic assault on a Center-Right government in the hope of assisting the election of the union-dominated Labor Party can only end in tears. Check out Australia's brief history -- its fortunes are cyclical in nature -- when the pro-business Coalition comes to power we have an inevitable climb out of the fiscal hole dug by the Socialists, a boom and significant improvement in employment and conditions, then everyone gets bored and complacent, the Lefties get in, trash the economy, kill employment and run us into recession again, and round we go again. Workers are always better off under our business- (and employment-) friendly Center-Right Coalition with the only difference being that union bosses don't get to enrich themselves at the country's expense. Sadly it takes about a decade for voters to forget just how bad Socialist Governments always are here.

"Climate change creating jobs for some" - "Climate change presents unprecedented headaches for the nation's farmers but will fuel a jobs bonanza in agriculture, according to new research.

The University of Sydney study found 123,000 jobs - mostly graduate positions - will be created in the agriculture sector during the next six years, which is a 36 per cent increase on current levels. (Sydney Morning Herald)

"Green groups condemn UK's claim in Antarctica" - "Environmental groups yesterday condemned British plans to claim sovereignty over a vast tract of the seabed off the coast of Antarctica, with Greenpeace and WWF expressing dismay that the Foreign Office was contemplating possible oil, gas and mineral exploration in the region." (The Guardian)

"Researchers examine world's potential to produce biodiesel" - "What do the countries of Thailand, Uruguay and Ghana have in common? They all could become leading producers of the emerging renewable fuel known as biodiesel, says a study from the University of Wisconsin-Madison Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies." (University of Wisconsin-Madison)

"Scientists estimate state-by-state mercury emissions from US fires" - "Forest fires and other blazes in the United States likely release about 30 percent as much mercury as the nation's industrial sources, according to initial estimates in a new study by scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). Fires in Alaska, California, Oregon, Louisiana, and Florida emit particularly large quantities of the toxic metal, and the Southeast emits more than any other region, according to the research. The mercury released by forest fires originally comes from industrial and natural sources." (National Center for Atmospheric Research)

"EU Tackles National Governments Over Air Pollution" - "BRUSSELS - European Union regulators initiated legal action against five member states on Wednesday for having air pollution levels that exceed EU limits and which can cause health problems. The European Commission, the 27-nation bloc's executive, said it was starting legal procedures against Britain, France, Italy, Spain and Slovenia for too-high levels of sulphur dioxide (SO2), a pollutant that can cause breathing difficulties and affect cardiovascular health." (Reuters)

"Fewer toxins emitted by US, Canadian industry: study" - "Fewer toxic chemicals are being released into the environment by big manufacturers in the United States and Canada according to the latest findings of an annual study released Wednesday." (AFP)

"EU Chides Governments Over Chemical Plant Safety" - "BRUSSELS - Twelve European Union countries have failed to draw up emergency plans to prepare for possible industrial accidents near plants that deal with dangerous substances, the EU's executive said on Wednesday." (Reuters)

"EU Targets Governments Over Electronic Waste Rules" - "BRUSSELS - Several European Union countries have failed to turn the bloc's rules on electronic waste into national law and now face legal action from Brussels, the European Commission said on Wednesday." (Reuters)

Go for the vectors: "Newest Malaria Medicine May Be Losing Potency in Asia, WHO Says" - "A malaria treatment considered the most effective weapon against drug-resistant strains of the lethal disease may be losing potency in Asia, doctors say.

Sensitivity to treatments based on artemisinin is declining in the border area between Thailand and Cambodia, the epicenter of emerging malaria drug resistance since the 1970s, the World Health Organization said. The Plasmodium falciparum parasite, which is carried by mosquitoes and causes the disease, may have mutated to evade yet another drug, the agency said in a report." (Bloomberg)

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"Mind Over Malaria" - "As the Gates Foundation meets this week, it should take a closer look at the ‘global subsidy’ campaign, writes ROGER BATE." (The American)

"New Lancet study: Malaria vaccine candidate has promising safety, tolerability profile in infants" - "First 'Proof of Concept' of world's most advanced malaria vaccine candidate in African infants shows protection against malaria" (Eurekalert)

"A Potential Breakthrough in Malaria Prevention" - "Parents of infants in sub-Saharan Africa, where a million or more die each year, have new hope, thanks to a group of multinational researchers, led by Dr. John J. Aponte of the University of Barcelona and colleagues from Mozambique. They evaluated a new malaria vaccine's safety and efficacy in 214 infants in rural Mozambique, an area of high incidence of malaria, and found that the vaccine against Falciparum malaria, the most severe form, reduced the rate of new infections by almost two thirds. The vaccine also delayed the timing of first infection, another important determinant of overall severity. The study was published in The Lancet today, in an early-release, online only version." (Gilbert Ross, ACSH)

'peas continue the Green fascination with everyone's bathroom practices: "Greenpeace tears into retail 'eco-villains'" - "Boots and Somerfield, two of the biggest names on the British high street, have been branded "eco-villains" for failing to ensure that their tissue and lavatory paper products are environmentally friendly.

The companies were ranked bottom of a Greenpeace table of retailers and manufacturers because they used little recycled paper or bought pulp from forests without safeguards on sustainability." (London Independent)

"Siege of Amazon Greenpeace activists ends" - "BRASILIA - Police escorted a group of Greenpeace activists from a remote town in the Brazilian Amazon on Wednesday after hundreds of loggers and townspeople besieged them overnight in protest against an anti-global warming campaign, the environmental organisation said." (Reuters)

"A New Battle of Logging vs. Spotted Owls" - "The Bureau of Land Management is considering an increase in logging in the northwest that would endanger a plan established to protect the northern spotted owl." (New York Times)

“Consensus is a political concept, not a scientific one.” - "A thought piece appeared in the Financial Times examining what is science and why it is so critical for us to distinguish it from scientific consensus." (Junkfood Science)

"Obesity a consequence of modern life" - "LONDON - Obesity does not result simply from over-eating and a lack of exercise but is a consequence of modern life, a government think-tank said on Wednesday.

Being overweight is a far more passive phenomenon than is often assumed, according to Foresight.

It found in a report that the technological revolution of the 20th century has led to weight gain becoming unavoidable for most people because our bodies and biological make-up are out of step with our surroundings.

"Stocking up on food was key to survival in prehistoric times, but now with energy-dense, cheap foods, labour-saving devices, motorised transport and sedentary work, obesity is rapidly becoming a consequence of modern life," said Sir David King, the government's chief scientific adviser and head of the Foresight programme.

The report, sponsored by the Department of Health, is the result of a two-year study into the causes of obesity involving almost 250 experts and scientists.

They predicted that the so-called obesity "epidemic" would take at least 30 years to reverse." (Reuters)

"Rice-producing nations call for increased focus on production" - "Rice production, which helps feed almost half the world, has been under increasingly intense pressure lately" (International Rice Research Institute)

October 17, 2007

"Failure to Measure Up: The U.N. abuse of science." - "At the end of September, The Lancet, a British medical journal, published papers demonstrating the United Nations’s misuse of scientific information in relation to child mortality, and especially in relation to malaria. It is pleasing that the Lancet has exposed this misuse because it is a rare event — the exposure, not the misuse of data. More alarming, however, is that the U.S. media chose not to report on this significant abuse. One wonders if data manipulation from the U.S. government, on say, climate change, would receive no headlines as well." (Roger Bate, NRO)

"Eating soya could slash men's sperm count" - "Men who eat just half a serving of soya a day have drastically fewer sperm than those who do not consume such foods, according to a small, preliminary study." (NewScientist.com news service)

So, this is how the 'peas come up with their "only half the man your father was" "studies" -- they sample tofurkey munchers.

"JFS Exclusive: Part Two of the country’s largest clinical trial on healthy eating" - "Last year, the primary outcomes of the Women’s Health Initiative Dietary Modification Trial were reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Even though this was one of the largest, longest and most expensive randomized controlled diet clinical trials in the history of our country — and finally tested the claims being made about “healthy” eating that are the foundation of the government’s nutrition and obesity prevention initiatives — few of us heard the results." (Junkfood Science)

"Obesity genetics" - "New evidence that genetics plays a key role in obesity is published today in the International Journal of Bioinformatics Research and Applications. The findings relate to the genetics of modern Pima Indians who have an unusually high rate of obesity but could be extrapolated to all people. Their obesity is thought to be linked to a thrifty metabolism that allowed them to metabolize food more efficiently in times when little was available but causes problems when food is in abundance." (Inderscience Publishers)

The truly shocking part is that this will come as a surprise to some...

"Environment Link Probed in Cancer Cases" - "Scientists are looking at possible environmental factors that might have harmed the genes of children who developed leukemia in the Fallon area and in Arizona." (AP)

Nothing better to do?

"Ecologists discover city is 'uber-forest' for big owls" - "It may be news to its bankers, but Charlotte, the biggest city in North Carolina and a major center of the American financial industry, is actually an old growth forest. At least that’s the way the barred owls see it." (University of North Carolina at Charlotte)

"Why are we losing Louisiana?" - "The Mississippi Delta region was losing land long before Hurricane Katrina came ashore. But the correlation between land loss and the risk of flooding in the region is now more evident than ever." (Geological Society of America)

Who writes this rubbish? "British explorer to measure depth of Arctic ice cap" - "LONDON — A British explorer who was the first man to reach the North Pole solo announced plans Tuesday to lead an expedition to measure the thickness of the Arctic ice caps." (AFP)

Check out these stupid statements:

The Arctic ice cap covers just three percent of the total surface of the Earth, but reflects 80 percent of the solar energy that penetrates the planet's atmosphere.

According to a statement announcing the expedition, eight percent of the Arctic's surface is believed to be melting each year, causing sea levels last century to rise between 10 and 20 centimetres.

Really? Are they sure they don't mean "80% of the comparatively trivial amount of Earth-received solar energy that actually strikes the Arctic"? (Hint: the place tends to be kind of chilly due to a lack of solar heating) And how do they suppose a floating ice cap's melting could contribute to a rise in sea level? Just maybe the Arctic Ocean could be warmed enough for thermal expansion to make a slight difference but floating ice already displaces all the water it's going to whether it melts or not.

Didn't anyone proofread the copy boy's first attempt?

"Greenland Climate: Now vs. Then, Part I. Temperatures" - "We at World Climate Report have been spending some time over at the local library digging through some old journals looking for information about climate conditions in Greenland during the early-to-mid 20th century—a time when it pretty well established that much of Greenland was as warm, or warmer, than it is presently. This fact, however, seems largely ignored by alarmist scientists and the media who continue to turn up the volume on rhetoric claiming that Greenland is experiencing events that have not been experienced there for time immemorial. Knowing what we do about the climate history of Greenland, we can’t help to wonder whether time immemorial only extends back about 50 years or so.

We will present what we uncover through a multi-part series of World Climate Reports under the general title, “Greenland Climate: Now vs. Then.” (WCR)

"Skeptic of global warming gives lecture on causes" - "The auditorium of the Reichardt building was the setting last Thursday for a presentation by Alaska's most respected skeptic on global warming, Dr. Syun-Ichi Akasofu, adding more ammunition to a current debate filled with propaganda and vitriol from both sides.

In the presentation: a mixture of data sets, satellite images, and straight-forward examples to buttress his argument, the soft-spoken Akasofu picked apart many conclusions that have been brought forward by the scientific community regarding this politically-charged topic." (Sun Star)

"The not-so-disappearing polar bear" - "The case of the not-so-vanishing polar bears shows that we shouldn't let the smartest solutions get lost amid the hype, writes Bjørn Lomborg" (Daily Telegraph)

Uh-huh... "Ozone Hole Over Antarctica 'Relatively Small'--WMO" - "GENEVA - The hole in the ozone layer over Antarctica is "relatively small" at about 25 million sq km this year, but it will still take decades for it to heal over, the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) said on Tuesday.

The ozone hole, about the size of North America, appeared earlier than usual in 2007 developing in August and is the third smallest in the past decade.

"The Antarctic ozone hole of 2007 is relatively small. This should not be taken as a sign of ozone recovery," Geir Braathen, a WMO senior scientific officer, told a news briefing." (Reuters)

One thing right, at least, this shouldn't be taken as a sign of ozone 'recovery,' it's simply a case of less intense South Polar Vortex this year and consequently greater atmospheric mixing. There is not now, nor has there ever been any reason to hope (or wish) for a 'healing' of the Antarctic Ozone Anomaly since it is not sick. There remains no reason to suspect people have anything to do with its formation nor that any human action will change its formation or recurrence.

"Hurricane Fears Cost Homeowners Coverage" - "Millions of homeowners in Northeast states are losing their policies as companies try to limit their exposure." (New York Times)

"Anthropogenic Climate Change Theory and Busted Sod" - "Anthropogenic theories of climate change have a neglected and tragic precedent of acceptance by consensus. Before Al Gore's Nobel prize for helping politicize the theory of Global Warming came the widely-believed theory that "Rain Follows the Plow."

Many of the sod busters who settled the American West (and parts of Australia) during the late 19th centuries believed that by plowing under native vegetation to grow crops, they would increase rainfall on their marginally arable land. Studies by weather experts were said to prove this anthropogenic climate change theory." (Rosslyn Smith, American Thinker)

"Apocalypse Now: Globe's Global Warmist Makes Even Gore Look Cool" - "When it comes to global-warming alarmism, it takes a lot to make Al Gore look moderate. Even the IPCC, the UN group that shared the Nobel with him, predicts on average a sea-level rise only 1/12th as high as the 20 feet by 2100 that Gore has forecast.

But when it comes to sky-is-burning scaremongering, the former Veep has met his match in the person of Paul Epstein. The scenario he sketches in his "Looking back" column in today's Boston Globe is so wildly alarmist that you could imagine a sci-fi movie Hollywood honcho rejecting it as too implausible." (News Busters)

Everyone wants to claim gorebull warming for everything: "Carteret Islands sinking fast" - "THE Carteret Islands are almost invisible on a map of the South Pacific, but the horseshoe scattering of atolls in eastern-most Papua New Guinea is on the frontline of climate change, as rising sea levels and storm surges eat away at their existence.

For 20 years, the 2,000 islanders living there have fought a losing battle against the ocean, building sea walls and trying to plant mangroves." (The Nation)

"A group of islands in New Guinea is sinking into the Pacific at the rate of 4 to 6 inches a year, and a team of government scientists has recommended that their 20,000 residents be quickly relocated to a larger island. The Duke of York Islands are sinking not because of rising sea levels, but because of seismic activity. In 1994, two volcanoes on opposite sides of one of the islands erupted for four months. When the activity ceased, evacuees moved back, but the regional news service Pacnews now reports that further subsidence is forcing officials to move the inhabitants to the Gazelle Peninsula on New Britain. Many buildings on the islands are already under water." ("Sinking Islands," LA Times World Briefs, November 11, 1999)

See also: Tectonic Setting and Volcanoes of Papua New Guinea, New Britain, and the Solomon Islands

"CLIMATE CHANGE-US: Delay Now, Pay Dearly Later" - "BROOKLIN, Canada - The United States is facing hundreds of billions of dollars in weather-related damages in coming years if it does not act urgently on climate change, the first-ever comprehensive economic assessment of the problem has found." (IPS)

Wrong way round -- act now, pay dearly always where gorebull warming is concerned.

Let's look quickly at the IPCC's formulae and numbers:

The IPCC and the European Environment Agency both provide the formula for calculating change in radiative forcing (ΔF) in Wm-2. For carbon dioxide (CO2) this formula is given as ΔF = αln(C/Co) where C and Co are the changed and unperturbed concentrations of CO2, respectively and α = 5.35. This formula might look a little complex but can be further simplified: each doubling of CO2 in the atmosphere delivers ~3.7 Wm-2 ΔF (e.g. 5.35xLN(800/400) = 3.708; 5.35xLN(400/200) = 3.708; 5.35xLN(200/100) = 3.708...).

Again according to the IPCC: The climate sensitivity parameter (global mean surface temperature response ΔTs to the radiative forcing ΔF) is defined as: ΔTs / ΔF = λ. This is a fancy way of saying dividing the change in temperature by the change in forcing gives the amount of change per Wm-2 (this is the lambda (λ) value plugged into climate models to calculate change in temperature from estimated change in forcing).

According to the National Academies' Climate Change Science: An Analysis of Some Key Questions (2001): "If there were no climate feedbacks, the response of Earth's mean temperature to a forcing of 4 W/m2 (the forcing for a doubled atmospheric CO2) would be an increase of about 1.2 °C (about 2.2 °F)." Thus 0.3 °C per Wm-2 but this is not the value used in models. Climate models usually work on 0.5 - 1.0 °C per Wm-2, which is how they come up with such fantastic warming projections. These numbers are apparently used based on this estimate by James Hansen: Global climate forcing was about 6 1/2 W/m2 less than in the current interglacial period. This forcing maintained a planet 5 °C colder than today. (Can we defuse The Global Warming Time Bomb? naturalSCIENCE, August 1, 2003) -- the text is slightly more specific: "This forcing maintains a global temperature difference of 5 °C, implying a climate sensitivity of 3/4 ± 1/4 °C per W/m2." The Scientific American version, March 2004, is also available here as 310Kb .pdf.

What's the point of all this? As most high schoolers probably realized immediately, any function which provides a set value in response to doubling another value is a snap to calculate in powers of 2. Assuming CO2 ceases to be an effective greenhouse gas below parts per million (unlike halocarbons about which there is concern at levels measured in parts per trillion) our approximate value of pre-Industrial Revolution atmospheric carbon dioxide is close to 28 (the 8th power of 2 is actually 256 but close enough here). So, before the IR CO2 should have been delivering ~8x3.7=29.6 Wm-2 F. Uh-oh... using the models' λ value would mean CO2 was responsible for 15-30 °C of a total possible greenhouse effect of 33 °C.

Now, either the IPCC's ΔF constant is not at all constant (entirely reasonable and plausible), CO2 makes up at least half, if not all the global net greenhouse effect (known to be nonsense, water vapor and clouds make that impossible), the 0.75 ± 0.25 °C per W/m2 figure is a massive overestimate (entirely reasonable and plausible), or there are significant negative feedbacks operating that are as yet unrecognized and unaccounted for (also reasonable and plausible). One or more of these conditions must be true, which means flawed assumptions drive the projections of potential warming.

"Global Warming Delusions" - "Global warming doesn't matter except to the extent that it will affect life -- ours and that of all living things on Earth. And contrary to the latest news, the evidence that global warming will have serious effects on life is thin. Most evidence suggests the contrary." (Daniel B. Botkin, Wall Street Journal) | For the access-challenged

"China’s drive for wealth means end of our low-carbon dreams" - "Hu Jintao wants to make every Chinese twice as rich by 2020. He has done it once – in just five years, income per capita doubled to $2,000 (£983) - and the only obstacle in the Chinese President’s path is the fuel needed to stoke the boiler in China’s locomotive.

The president needs more copper, iron ore, zinc and natural gas. Above all, he needs more coal to keep the power stations humming nicely and more oil for Chinese cars and lorries. China accounts for more than a third of world demand for coal and the price in Australia soared this year as the People’s Republic switched from being an exporter to being an importer. If Mr Hu had a message for the world in his address to the Communist Party National Congress, it was this: we will burn our coal and, if we have to, we will burn yours, too.

What does this mean? Put bluntly, it means that the Kyoto treaty on greenhouse gas emissions is dead and so is any prospect of persuading Beijing to bind itself to other curbs on carbon emissions." (The Times)

"Statistical Incompetence at the Australian Bureau of Meteorology" - "The Australian Bureau of Meteorology, might well be good at collecting data, in fact they are world recognised as amongst the best. All that is however completely useless if you cannot analyse the data well. It would seem that either they don't employ statisticians to analyse their data or that the statisticians that they employ are well, incompetent." (Gust of Hot Air)

"Fran O'Sullivan: Climate of concern at emissions forum" - "Climate Change Minister David Parker is facing fire from business organisations over his plan to rush legislation on the emissions trading scheme into Parliament.

Even the leadership panel he has appointed to advise him has deep concerns over issues ranging from the carbon pricing model officials are using through to the effect of climate change policies on New Zealand's economic growth rate." (New Zealand Herald)

"Global Warming Starts to Divide G.O.P. Contenders" - "The Republican presidential candidates are divided over the policy solutions to global warming." (New York Times)

"While Gore basks, South America shivers for fuel" - "Call it a very inconvenient article. On Saturday, as the New York Times usual green posse of reporters – Andrew Revkin, Elisabeth Bumiller, Walter Gibbs, et al – wrote press releases celebrating Al Gore’s Nobel (three articles and they couldn’t find a single critic that thought the award was controversial?), another Times story (credit the paper for running it at all) - buried inside on A13 - should have been an eye-opener for readers lulled by media propaganda into believing that the world is both frying and that “going Green” is a painless solution.

Under the headline “Energy Crunch Threatens South American Nations,” reporter Alexei Barrionuevo’s lead graph grabs you and never lets go: “Santiago, Chile – For Chile and Argentina, it was the frostiest of winters, and not just the reading on the thermometer. During one of the coldest South American winters here in decades, neighboring Argentina cut at least 90 percent of the natural gas it sends to Chile 79 times along pipelines that connect the two countries.”

Warming, obviously, is the farthest thing from South America’s mind." (Henry Payne, Planet Gore)

"Gore and Peace" - "Portuguese neurologist Egas Moniz received the 1949 Nobel Prize in medicine for "his discovery of the therapeutic value of [prefrontal lobotomy] in certain psychoses," including depression and schizophrenia. The prefrontal lobotomy operation, in which the nerve fibers connecting the frontal lobe with other parts of the brain were cut, and which often made patients zombie-like, would be repudiated by the medical community within a decade.

Al Gore, the latest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, is a similarly poor choice, one likely not to stand the test of time." (Dr. Henry I. Miller, TCS Daily)

"Who'd Buy a Property by the Sea?" - "It was claimed in 'An Inconvenient Truth' that sea levels could rise by up to 20 feet in the 'near future' due to melting ice sheets. Anyone who believed such a claim wouldn't really be expected to buy a property near San Francisco Bay, would they?

Well, in 2005, Al Gore purchased a multi-million dollar Condominium in the St. Regis Hotel, a 480 foot tower at Third and Mission.

Still, very handy for Apple board meetings, and at 480 feet high there's little chance of getting your feet wet by the Pacific Ocean!" (JenniferMahrohasy.com)

"Sucked dry" - "While we're misled on the effects of climate change, costly plans to cut emissions are hampering cheaper, effective solutions to problems we face now, says Bjorn Lomborg" (The Guardian)

From CO2 Science this week:

Can the Huge Claimed Consensus on CO2 and Global Warming Possibly Be Wrong?: Some new developments in the case of stratospheric ozone depletion suggest, by analogy, that the odds in favor of the CO2-climate consensus ultimately disintegrating are quite a bit higher than one might think.

Medieval Warm Period Record of the Week:
This issue's Medieval Warm Period Record of the Week comes from the Polar Ural Mountains, Russia. To access the entire Medieval Warm Period Project's database, click here.

Subject Index Summary:
Precipitation (Trends - Arctic): Have Arctic precipitation trends over the past one to five centuries responded as climate alarmists suggest they should have done?

Plant Growth Data:
This week we add new results (blue background) of plant growth responses to atmospheric CO2 enrichment obtained from experiments described in the peer-reviewed scientific literature for: Carrot, Garden Tomato, Poison Ivy, and Timothy.

Journal Reviews:
A Combined Observational History- and Model-Based Projection of Western North Pacific Tropical Cyclones: How have these storms behaved in the past? How will they behave in the future?

Climate Variability in a Warming World: The Situation in Switzerland: What do Swiss data suggest about one of the most common climate-alarmist contentions?

Basic Plant Responses to Long-Term Atmospheric CO2 Enrichment at Three Natural CO2 Springs in Japan: How do light saturated photosynthetic rate, transpiration rate, water use efficiency and photosynthetic nitrogen use efficiency respond to long-term elevated atmospheric CO2 concentrations in the real world of nature?

Effects of Elevated CO2 on Yield and N2O Emissions of a Mixed Stand of Timothy and Red Clover: How does yield-enhancing atmospheric CO2 enrichment affect soil N2O emissions?

Effects of Warming on Aphid Densities of Sagebrush Plants: Do rising temperatures mitigate or exacerbate the negative effects of the insects on the plants?

Hendersonville, NCTemperature Record of the Week:
This issue's Temperature Record of the Week is from Hendersonville, NC. During the period of most significant greenhouse gas buildup over the past century, i.e., 1930 and onward, Hendersonville's mean annual temperature has cooled by 0.36 degrees Fahrenheit. Not much global warming here! (co2science.org)

"As President, Would You Back a Carbon Tax?" - "As part of its ongoing efforts to ask policy-makers and public leaders the tough questions, Cybercast News Service asked the Democratic presidential candidates: "As president, would you support enacting a national carbon tax?" Following are the responses received. (Sens. Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Joe Biden, former Sen. John Edwards and Gov. Bill Richardson did not respond to requests for comment.)" (CNSNews.com)

"No long-term global oil shortage: US" - "THERE is no long-term global oil shortage, a senior US official said in Australia yesterday, on a day when the oil price went almost to $US87 a barrel because of the Turkey-PKK situation.

James A. Slutz, deputy assistant secretary for oil and natural gas, made it clear yesterday that the US position is that any worries about oil supply are caused more by slow technological take-up by oil explorers than by any specific oil shortage.

Or, as the industry puts it, a low rate of change in the approach to non-conventional oil. (The Australian)

"If corn is biofuels king, tropical maize may be emperor" - "When University of Illinois crop scientist Fred Below began growing tropical maize, the form of corn grown in the tropics, he was looking for novel genes for the utilization of nitrogen fertilizer and was hoping to discover information that could be useful to American corn producers.

Now, however, it appears that maize itself may prove to be the ultimate U.S. biofuels crop." (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)

"FEATURE-Do food miles make a difference to global warming?" - "WASHINGTON, Oct 17 - The U.S. local food movement -- which used to be elite, expensive and mostly coastal -- has gone mainstream, with a boost from environmentalists who reckon that eating what grows nearby cuts down on global warming.

But do food miles -- the distance edibles travel from farm to plate -- give an accurate gauge of environmental impact, especially where greenhouse gas emissions are concerned?" (Reuters)

October 16, 2007

"AFM Commentary on 'WHO Promotes DDT?'"  - "Hans Overgaard and Michael Angstreich argue in The Lancet Infectious Diseases (subscription required) that the World Health Organization (WHO) has consistently provided support for the use of DDT for malaria control. AFM responds to their miseading an dishonest arguments about DDT and WHO as well as to their characterization of AFM as an organization that promotes DDT as a "panacea for the world's malaria problems" (AFM)

Support the campaign against DDT scaremongering with a DDT T-shirt!
Only available from the JunkScience.com Store

"Amazon tribe hits back at green 'colonialism'" - "It's one of the most fashionable ideas to save the planet from global warming: buying up tropical rainforest to save it from destruction. Gordon Brown has even appointed the millionaire founder of one such charity, Johan Eliasch, as his special adviser on deforestation.

But like all big ideas it is controversial, and this week a leading Amazonian campaigner will visit Britain to protest that this latest trend is linked to a health and social crisis among indigenous people, including sickness, depression, suicide, obesity and drug addiction." (Juliette Jowit, The Observer)

"Canada Not Listening to Leading Environmentalist" - "TORONTO - David Suzuki, Canada's best-known environmentalist, has spent a generation encouraging Canadians to look after the environment, but it seems they have not been listening." (Reuters)

And someone, other than Suzuki, is surprised by this? Suzuki is a misanthropic twit and most people, except perhaps media scribes, seem to be aware of this.

"High street's climate message not getting through" - "Most consumers have no idea what major high-street companies are doing about climate change, new research reveals.

A survey published today by the Climate Group, which tracks what people think of how companies are performing on climate change, found a gap between what consumers want and expect, and what they think businesses are doing about it.

More than two-thirds of those (69%) who took part in the survey were unable to name any brands that are taking a lead on climate change." (Guardian Unlimited)

Perhaps they should ask consumers exactly what they believe brands could do to knowingly and predictably adjust the global climate?

Maybe inquire exactly where consumer believe we can access the levers to pull and knobs to twiddle that we may adjust this pliant entity 'climate'.

While we are about it, what temperature should be make dear old Mother Earth and who gets to choose what it should be?

"What Happens to Companies That 'Go Green'" - "Mutual fund manager explains why consumers, shareholders and business leaders should be skeptical of global warming regulation lobbying and 'market-based' solutions." (Jeff Poor, Business & Media Institute)

Isn't Al on Apple's Board? "Greenpeace slams Apple over iPhone's hazardous chemicals" - "Tests undertaken by environmental lobby group finds iPhone contains hazardous substances already eradicated by some rival phone manufacturers." (James Murray, BusinessGreen) | Missed Call: iPhone's hazardous chemicals .pdf (Greenpeace)

Serves Apple right for making such stupid appeasing noises as "Responsible Manufacturing

Apple plans to completely eliminate the use of polyvinyl chloride (PVC), brominated flame retardants (BFRs), and arsenic in its products by the end of 2008. Apple helps to safeguard the environment — as well as consumers’ safety — by restricting the use of environmentally harmful compounds in our materials and manufacturing processes. For example, our restricted substances program limits the use of heavy metals and ozone depleting substances in our products and manufacturing processes.

"Dupont Says US Not Pursuing PFOA Criminal Charges" - "NEW YORK - DuPont Co said Monday it has learned the US Department of Justice has concluded its perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) investigation of DuPont and will not pursue criminal charges.

DuPont said the Justice Department made the determination after completing a review of DuPont's research into and use of PFOA at its Washington Works plant." (Reuters)

"California OKs Phthalates Ban on Children's Products" - "SAN FRANCISCO - Siding with activists who urged action against "toxic toys," California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill on Sunday banning chemicals called phthalates in children's products." (Reuters)

"Scaring Women Into Breastfeeding: Mention Leukemia Risk to Baby" - "A journalist claims that science suggests millions of kids have been put at risk by not breast-feeding, but the science says otherwise." (Rebecca Goldin, STATS)

"Junkfood Science Exclusive: The big one — results of the biggest clinical trial of healthy eating ever" - "Everybody knows what it means to eat healthy. We’ve heard about healthy foods and the importance of eating right our entire lives: “To be healthy and prevent heart disease, cancers and other chronic diseases of aging — and to maintain a slim, “healthy” weight — we should eat a low-fat and high-fiber diet with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains.” This advice comes from respected doctors and health officials and we hear it everywhere, so it is unfathomable that these dietary beliefs have never actually been clinically tested...until recently." (Junkfood Science)

"Schools told to tackle teenage obesity crisis" - "Schools should be doing more to convince teenage girls to take part in sport including scrapping "embarrassing" gym kits and offering alternative activities such as frisbee and yoga sessions in an effort to halt the growing obesity crisis, the secretary of state for families has told the Guardian." (The Guardian)

"Food industry's ethics under scrutiny over obesity" - "Marketing junk food to children has to become socially unacceptable, a leading obesity expert will say today, warning that the food industry has done too little voluntarily to help avert what a major report this week will show is a "far worse scenario than even our gloomiest predictions".

Professor Philip James, chairman of the International Obesity Taskforce thinktank, will say in a keynote speech that when it comes to public health the response of the food industry has so far been a case of "too little, too late". (The Guardian)

"All Quiet Alert" - “'All Quiet Alert' - That sounds like an oxymoron, and maybe it is, but the sun is extremely quiet right now, so much in fact that the Solar Influences Data Center in Belgium has issued an “All quiet alert” on October 5th. Since then, the sunspot number has remained at zero." (Watts Up With That?)

"As a land thaws, so do Greenland's aspirations for independence" - "As global warming makes Greenland's mineral wealth more accessible, talk of independence from Denmark is also heating up." (The Christian Science Monitor)

Good luck with that. If the sun does remain quiescent, however...

Definitely not PC: "British scientists dig in arctic mud" - "A British research team from the University of Plymouth is developing a new method of tracking changes in Arctic sea ice over the past 1,000 years.

The scientists are using thin layers of sediment from the sea bed of the Northwest Passage, north of Canada, to glean information about the patterns of past conditions, the BBC reported Monday.

The researchers said they hope to cast light on historical questions, such as why so many expeditions to the passage failed, as well as benefit future climate forecasts.

"Our method for historical sea ice determination not only shows remarkable agreement with known historical events, but it has allowed us to provide some information for periods where records are scarce or absent," said research team member Guillaume Masse, of the University of Plymouth.

"Significantly, periods of sea ice cover frequently coincide with dramatic changes to human populations due to famines and illnesses." (United Press International)

Global less-warming is not good for people? Go figure...

"The Studies Do No Such Thing" - "Today the USA Today announced in a headline:

Studies Link Man-Made Causes to Rise in Humidity

From the article:

One study, published in today's edition of the journal Nature, found that the overall increase in worldwide surface humidity from 1973-99 was 2.2%, which is due "primarily to human-caused global warming," according to study co-author Nathan Gillett of the University of East Anglia, in Norwich, U.K.

Here is what makes me immediately suspicious, even at this point in the article: No one can accurately come up with an empirical proof of how much of the warming from 1973-99 was due to man's activities and how much was due to natural effects (the best you can find are studies that say "most" or "a lot of" or "some". Therefore, it is impossible that anyone was able to attribute a humidity rise just to the man-made portion of the warming, since we don't know how much that was.

Second, there are been a number of good studies that have shown that man can have a substantial effect on air humidity, but that these effects tend to be due to land use (e.g. agriculture, irrigation, urbanization, and even swimming pools) rather than CO2 caused warming. To throw all of the humidity rise only on CO2, and not these other anthropogenic effects, seems facile." (Climate Skeptic)

"IPCC: the dangers of enforcing ‘consensus’" - "While appearing to be the ultimate experts on global warming, the UN's climate panel has actually distorted public discussion of the issue." (Tony Gilland, sp!ked)

Oops! "Johnn (sic) Hari: Gore tells the truth. His enemies smear him" - "What is portrayed as a plucky school governor taking on the former vice-president is in fact very different." (London Independent)

Poor Johann, The Indy can't even bother to get his name right. And, about 'Gore's truth', Mr Justice Burton disagrees.

"Man Made Climate Change Advocates Say Challenge To Gore Film Is Huge Industrialist Conspiracy" - "Advocates of the man made global warming theory have jumped on an article in yesterday's London Observer which insinuates that a recent court case which attempted to stop Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth being shown to school children in the UK is part of a vast conspiracy secretly being implemented by big industry insiders." (Steve Watson, Infowars.net)

"Peace Prize for Gore like Lit Prize for comics" - "Here's an inconvenient truth: Al Gore won the Nobel Peace Prize thanks to a movie that needs more warning labels than a carton of unfiltered Camels.

This is puzzling. There are soldiers in Iraq who do more for peace on their day off than Gore does in a year of save-the-planet rock concerts. But I guess they gave him the Peace Prize because they didn't have one for Politically Correct Mendacity. His Oscar-winning movie, "An Inconvenient Truth," should be listed as Science Fiction.

When the British government decided to use it to educate children about global warming, school official Stewart Dimmock filed a lawsuit claiming that Gore's movie was inaccurate political "brainwashing" and "sentimental mush," according to the London Evening Standard. Last week, the High Court agreed. A judge ruled that Gore's film is "alarmist and exaggerated," and must have warnings to point out nine scientific errors." (Peter Bronson, The Enquirer)

"Al Gore’s ‘good lies’" - "When is an error not an error? When it’s in a film designed to raise awareness about climate change and make us change our behaviour." (Brendan O'Neill, sp!ked)

"The Warming Debate's Gray Area" - "A top climate scientist calls the theory that won Al Gore an Oscar and a Nobel Peace Prize "ridiculous." Others would speak out, he says, if they didn't fear retribution from those who put ideology over science." (IBD)

"Al's Ignoble Nobel" - "Let's make this really, really simple. The Nobel Peace Prize Committee gave the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize to Al Gore and about 3,300 UN bureaucrats and professors who worked on the chi-chi, politically correct, ultra-hip topic of global warming. As far as I know, none of the 3,300 ever had to put his or her life on the line. Mostly, they worked in air-conditioned classrooms and labs and were well paid. Al Gore has made an enormous business of his opposition to the oil companies. He has made literally tens of millions from his crusade (far, far more than any oil company executive presently working )." (Ben Stein, American Spectator)

This Left-Coast publication liked it though: "World warms up to climate challenge" - "The pairing of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize was an inspired decision by the Norwegian selection committee. (Seattle Times)

"Journalist Conference Takes Left Turn on Climate Change" - "Professional organization that prides itself in its Code of Ethics hosts one-sided global warming session at its annual event." (Jeff Poor, Business & Media Institute)

"Climate deniers to send film to British schools" - "Secondary schools across Britain are to be sent copies of the controversial television film The Great Global Warming Swindle, as the polemical battle over climate change heats up in the wake of last week's Nobel Peace Prize award to former US vice president Al Gore and the UN's climate change panel.

The much-criticised film is to be distributed by the small but vociferous climate change denial lobby, as a direct riposte to the Government's own distribution to schools of Mr Gore's film on global warming, An Inconvenient Truth.

The main figure behind the move is Viscount Monckton, the journalist and former policy adviser to Margaret Thatcher, who is likely to couple the Swindle film, made by radical television producer Martin Durkin and aired on Channel 4 in March, in a package with an anti-climate change film of his own entitled Apocalypse No!." (London Independent)

"Kyoto climate approach 'bad policy' - Bush" - "ARKANSAS - US President George W. Bush says his administration's approach of emphasising voluntary approaches to address climate change was working and he denounced Kyoto-style mandatory caps as "bad policy".

Bush's comments were the latest sign that his opposition to binding emissions caps remains firmly entrenched, even as he has made efforts to show he wants to be more engaged in the global debate on climate change amid sharp criticism from other countries." (Reuters)

"Hot World? Blame Cities." - "It's all the suburbs' fault. You know, everything -- traffic congestion, overweight kids, social alienation. Oh, and lest we forget, global warming and rising energy costs, too.

That latest knock against the burbs has caught on widely. With their multiplying McMansions and exploding Explorers, the burbs are the reason we're paying so much for gas and heating oil and spewing all those emissions that are heating up the atmosphere -- or so a host of urban proponents tells us. It's time to ditch the burbs and go back to the city. New York, Boston, Chicago -- these densely packed metropolises are "models of environmentalism," declares John Norquist, the former Milwaukee mayor who now heads the Congress for a New Urbanism.

But before you sell your ranch house in Loudoun County and plunk down big bucks for that cozy condo in the District, take a closer look at the claims of big cities' environmental superiority. Here's one point that's generally relegated to academic journals and scientific magazines: Highly concentrated urban areas can contribute to overall warming that extends beyond their physical boundaries." (Joel Kotkin and Ali Modarres, Washington Post)

"Scientists gauge greenhouse gases above S.F. in warming experiment" - "In a first-of-its kind experiment, a group of university and government scientists has begun to monitor greenhouse gases in the air above San Francisco.

With probes stuck high on Sutro Tower, they are trying to understand whether the state's aggressive anti-warming laws are working. They also want to judge how accurately air experts have estimated emissions from power plants, farms, factories and cars and trucks." (SF Chronicle)

"Accurate Climate Change Assessment, An Impossible Task?" - "Recently, a critical adjustment was made by NASA to its US Annual mean temperature record since 1895, due to discovering an error in their adjustments found by Steve McIntyre, who also blew the whistle on the flawed hockey stick of Mann, Bradley and Hughes. Tellingly, the adjustment came without a press release or even an explanation on the site, sparking considerable attention in the blogosphere but drawing little mention in the national media. One can rest assured had the adjustment been the other way (a warming), there would have been press releases, widespread hype and headlines for several days." (Joe D’Aleo, CCM)

"Global Warming: The Conservatives’ Opportunity" - "This is a two-part column. Part one is what you might expect from a politically conservative person who believes “global warming” is a secular religion and that Al Gore deserved the Nobel Peace Prize as much as Yasser Arafat, Le Duc Tho and a myriad of other low-wattage lights, which is to say not at all. The second part may surprise my liberal friends." (Cal Thomas, Human Events)

"Pacific island could be submerged due to global warming" - "One of the world's tiniest countries fears it will submerge from the map unless rich nations act against global warming." (London Telegraph)

Niue has roughly 200' of freeboard so it is in no imminent danger of slipping beneath the waves. It does have a net population decline due mainly to its remoteness and lack of industry and infrastructure (young islanders have been moving to New Zealand for education and employment for decades) and this is likely to continue although it has absolutely nothing to do with climate, whether changing or static. Depending on the shape and dimension of the La Niña ocean lens deformation tide gauges at Niue might register a significant change this year, as might serial warming whiners Tuvalu. The latter exhibits reduced sea levels during El Niños and increases during La Niña years. If we were to base sea level estimates on Tuvalu tide gauge information then we have to conclude warming (associated with El Niño) lowers sea levels (excessive evaporation?) while cooling-associated La Niña adds to sea volume.

"Killer cow emissions" - "Livestock are a leading source of greenhouse gases. Why isn't anyone raising a stink?" (LA Times)

Bovine something... "Holy cow! We’re crazy to farm livestock like this" - "I prefer not to eat food that has a face. But many of my nearest and dearest love their meat, and who am I to ask them not to eat so much of it? Until now, that is.

Having just discovered the huge impact of livestock production on global warming, I need hesitate no longer. Reducing our meat consumption is no longer an option but an urgent necessity. Here’s why." (Joanna Lumley, The Times)

Uh-huh... "The UHT route to long-life planet" - "It’s enough to put the nation off breakfast. Civil servants have suggested that Britons put long-life milk in tea and pour it on their cornflakes to save the planet from global warming.

Officials at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs have made a serious proposal that consumers switch to UHT (Ultra-High Temperature or Ultra-Heat Treated) milk to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

It is part of a government strategy to ensure that some 90 per cent of milk on sale will not require refrigeration by 2020." (London Times)

... and what's the greenhouse profile of toasting everyone's milk? Do you suppose these wannabe micromanagers will ever tire of trying to meddle in every facet of our lives?

"A loophole could dim impact in proposed energy-saving bill" - "New legislation is slated to phase out inefficient bulbs, but efficiency groups are concerned a loophole could diminish impact." (The Christian Science Monitor)

Protectionism trumps environmentalism: "EU Gives Green Light to Disputed China Bulb Duties" - "LUXEMBOURG - The European Union approved a one-year extension of anti-dumping duties on imports of Chinese energy-saving light bulbs on Monday, despite protests from environmentalists, leading companies and several EU capitals." (Reuters)

"Britain accused of scuppering EU's renewable energy plan" - "Britain was accused yesterday of trying to wreck planned EU legislation to enforce a binding target of using renewable power to produce 20% of Europe's energy by 2020.

The ambitious target, agreed by Tony Blair last spring, is challenging for Britain since this country produces only 2% of its power from non-fossil fuel sources such as wind and solar." (The Guardian)

"Road-pricing plans 'to be shelved'" - "A national road-pricing scheme that would have cost motorists up to £1.30 a mile is to be shelved, it was claimed today.

Ministers are said to have "back-burnered" the plans, designed to combat congestion." (Guardian Unlimited)

"Retrofit energy-saving technology in homes" - "Britain must upgrade its ageing housing if it wants to hit energy-saving targets, British Gas says. The Government wants to cut emissions by 60 per cent of 1990 levels by 2050 and has ordered all new homes be carbon neutral by 2015." (London Telegraph)

"EU Set to Rubberstamp Imports of Four GMO Crop Products" - "BRUSSELS - The European Union is likely to authorise imports of four separate genetically modified (GMO) crop products next week for sale across its 27 national markets for the next 10 years, officials said on Monday." (Reuters)

"Scientists ramp up ability of poplar plants to disarm toxic pollutants" - "Scientists since the early '90s have seen the potential for cleaning up contaminated sites by growing plants able to take up nasty groundwater pollutants through their roots. Then the plants break certain kinds of pollutants into harmless byproducts that the plants either incorporate into their roots, stems and leaves or release into the air.

The problem with plants that are capable of doing this is that the process is slow and halts completely when growth stops in winter. Using plants in this way, a process called phytoremediation, often hasn't made sense given the timetables required by regulatory agencies at remediation sites." (University of Washington)

"All About: GM Rice" - "Feed the world's starving. Cure vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Put an end to crop failure. Combat global warming. Such are the promises of genetically modified (GM) rice. But if it all sounds too good to be true, environmentalists say, that's because it is.

For proponents of GM rice, GM food is the obvious solution to the ongoing problems of population growth, changing climate conditions and malnutrition. For its opponents, it's an unnecessary and potentially catastrophic exercise which only feeds corporate interests and does little to solve the real problems of global food supply, malnutrition and farming practices." (CNN)

October 15, 2007

NEW BLOG: Global Warming Politics - Emeritus Professor Philip Stott writes: “‘Global warming’ has become the grand political narrative of the age, replacing Marxism as a dominant force for controlling liberty and human choices. In this blog, I hope to be able to deconstruct the ‘myth’ in order to reveal its more dangerous and humorous foibles and follies. I shall focus as much on the politics as on the science.”

"Hurricane Threats to Florida - Climate Change or Demographics?"  - "Summary for Policy Makers: Despite the lack of any trends in hurricane landfalls along the U.S. and Florida coasts, or damage to U.S. coastlines when population demographics are taken into account, the impact from a single storm can be enormous. The massive population and infrastructure build-up of the US coastline has vastly raised the potential damage that a storm can inflict. It is stunningly dishonest and irresponsibly dangerous to insinuate, let alone assert, that CO2 mitigation policies could cage the destructiveness of nature, particularly in hurricane-prone Florida." (Robert Ferguson, SPPI)

"Laurie David: Blaming kids for global warming" - "The media are full of stories about global warming. Hurricanes, we are told, are stronger and more prevalent due to global warming. Summers are warmer as a result of global warming. We are lead to believe that there is scientific consensus global warming is human caused.

This is scary stuff. As if that is not enough, there are people out there trying to convince your children they are bad people because they contribute to global warming. Every time they ride in a car, use a computer or take a bath, they are bringing the Earth closer to its demise, they are told.

"The Down-to-Earth-Guide to Global Warming," a new book for kids co-authored by Laurie David, producer of the Al Gore movie "An Inconvenient Truth," tells this story in all its cartoon glory. On first glance the book is beautiful. It is full of color and kid appeal. The problem is the book is also cartoonish in the way it plays with reality. Big errors are glossed over as fact." (Holly Fretwell, WND)

Not sure I would have framed it quite this way... "Be wary of climate process Osama endorses, doctor argues" - "OTTAWA -- Osama bin Laden's recent endorsement of the international Kyoto Protocol on climate change is proof that government policies to slash greenhouse gas emissions could be more dangerous for industrialized countries than terrorism itself, says a well-known Canadian global warming skeptic." (Mike De Souza, CanWest News Service)

... but that is not to say he's wrong or that it's the wrong way to frame it.

All workers report for compulsory education... "City Workers Shown 'Truth'" - "Watching Al Gore's movie about global warming is now part of the job at City Hall.

The city of Albuquerque this week began sending its blue-collar and clerical workers to a morning-long seminar on energy efficiency. The seminar includes watching about 50 minutes of "An Inconvenient Truth," which won an Academy Award." (Albuquerque Journal)

Albuquerque city employees were made to watch Al Gore's movie (a carefully edited version) during work time, paid for by taxpayers. Of special upset was that this also took the police off the streets.

Background: Albuquerque has a huge crime problem and just recently the FBI noted there was such a shortage of cops on the street they need 500 more. This is also one of the poorest states in the US and can ill afford to waste resources. So a lot of non-green people are upset.

The response of city officials was "cops need to learn to recycle too!" The employees who have been interviewed on the radio have said the film they saw was all politics and they were not given the option of not attending, but were told that it was mandatory.

"How to Create and Protect a Consensus" - "We are all aware of a claimed consensus on climate science, although what the consensus actually is and how far it goes has yet to be defined, in my view. That is not the issue raised here. A book authored by Janis, I. L. & Mann, L. (1977) Decision-making: A psychological analysis of conflict, choice, and commitment (New York Free Press), explores the concept of ‘Group Think,’ which shows a remarkable parallel with the way the climate science consensus is operated and protected." (JenniferMarohasy.com)

Letter of the moment: To the Editor,

Now that the Nobel Committee has jumped on the bandwagon, I thought you would find it of interest to read this quote from the book "Sweet Thames", by Matthew Kneale. It is a novel about the 1849 cholera epidemic in London .

It has a lesson for today's "consensus thinking" on Global warming.

"The strength of false ideas. .. the more accepted and widespread a notion, the more fiercely it should be suspected. Beliefs have a dangerous habit of creating their own momentum- the momentum of mere fashion - until any who oppose them become the subject of humorous derision, revilement, or worse...

Readers, guard yourselves, I urge you, against the toxic slumber of unanimity.

Seek instead, that most dazzling of prizes; to see through the delusions of your own time..... You will not fully escape the influence of your own time - that is an impossible hope - but, if you trouble always to find your own thoughts, you may just rise above the fog of its more ludicrous imaginings.
" (1)

Tom V

(1) Sweet Thames, Matthew Kneale; Penguin Books 2001; p 311

"NASA and the Warmest Year" - "Back in August, 2007, there was a flurry of news items about how NASA had revised its temperature measurements and was now showing 1934 to be the warmest year on record, not 1998. The global warming story was one of steadily increasing temperatures, so this sounded very significant. A lot of the right wing blogs had a field day with it and made it sound like NASA couldn't get its math straight. James Hansen of NASA and other warming researchers replied that the revision was minor and didn't change the big picture at all.

Curious about this, I followed a link in one of the articles to this page on the NASA site, which gave the actual numbers." (Michael Goodfellow, Free The Memes!)

<chuckle> "Look who's in denial about global warming now" - "For the last several years, environmental leaders and writers have blamed stealthy misinformation efforts by a handful of global warming deniers for the lack of national political action on global warming. Two years ago, Mother Jones pointed to the $8 million Exxon-Mobil had pumped into 40 conservative groups between 2000 and 2003, concluding, "They've delayed action for 15 years." Greenpeace protested the company's activities and launched ExxonSecrets.com. And in a cover story in August, Newsweek declared that, "The reason for inaction was clear ... well-funded naysayers."

The truth is that global warming deniers have had little impact on public attitudes. In 1989, Gallup asked Americans how concerned they were with global warming. Sixty-three percent said they worried "a great deal" or a "fair amount" about it - by 2007, that number was virtually unchanged at 65 percent. Exxon-Mobil, it turns out, had wasted its money.

The problem isn't that the voters don't care about global warming. They do. It's that they don't care all that much. Consider that despite extensive publicity, Al Gore's movie, "An Inconvenient Truth," had almost no impact on public opinion. The Pew Center for People and the Press conducted a telephone survey in June 2006, at the height of media attention for the movie, and found that "out of a list of 19 issues, Republicans rank global warming 19th and Democrats and independents rank it 13th." After six more months of high-profile coverage, the relative importance of global warming had declined even further.

There are political consequences to all of this. In November 2006, months after the supposed "tipping point" for global warming, voters in California - a relatively liberal state - rejected a ballot initiative that would have taxed the state's oil production in the name of global warming.

In light of all this, to continue to blame a handful of frankly pathetic global warming deniers for lack of federal action on global warming is, in itself, a kind of denial." (Ted Nordhaus, Michael Shellenberger, SF Chronicle)

They might be greenie warming zealots with a penchant for rude descriptions but at least they are capable of recognizing that the general public have not surrendered to blind panic regarding a possible 0.2% variation in global mean temperature (GMT) which might (or might not) have elevated GMT from 287.15 K to (almost) the expected 288 K.

"Gore's climate theory savaged" - "ONE of the world's leading meteorologists has described the theory that helped Al Gore win a share of the Nobel prize "ridiculous".

Dr William Gray, a pioneer in the science of seasonal hurricane forecasts, spoke to a packed lecture hall at UNC Charlotte and said humans are not responsible for the warming of the earth.

His visit, arranged through the meteorology program at UNCC, came on the same day that Gore was honoured for his work in support of the link between humans and global warming.

"We're brainwashing our children," said Gray, 78, a longtime professor at Colorado State University. "They're going to the Gore movie (An Inconvenient Truth) and being fed all this. It's ridiculous." (Agence France-Presse)

"Gore Wins Thanks to Media's Fever Pitch on Global Warming" - "Climate alarmist receives Nobel Peace Prize with conveniently red hot support from journalists." (Dan Gainor and Jeff Poor, Business & Media Institute)

"Climate change threatens mankind" - "Statement from the Nobel Prize committee awarding the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize to former U.S. vice-president Al Gore and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided that the Nobel Peace Prize for 2007 is to be shared, in two equal parts, between the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and Albert Arnold (Al) Gore Jr. for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change." (National Post)

"Climate change threatens the fight to end poverty" - "The former United Nations secretary-general, Kofi Annan, brought about a remarkable consensus among world leaders to establish the Millennium Development Goals and for the world to meet these by 2015. But, as Annan's successor, Ban Ki-moon, told about 80 heads of state and government in September, it is now clear that climate change threatens the achievement of these goals, so vital to the wellbeing of human society and the elimination of widespread poverty." (Rajendra Pachauri, SMH)

"Critics slam Nobel winner" - "THE award of the Nobel Peace Prize to Al Gore and the UN's top climate panel on Friday has prompted a fresh chorus of criticism from global warming sceptics -- with one dubbing the award "a political gimmick".

The former vice-president has an Oscar for his film on climate change, An Inconvenient Truth, and the Nobel prize proved a laurel too far for some of his detractors.

Czech President Vaclav Klaus cast doubt on Gore's contribution to the cause of peace, the ostensible purpose of the Norwegian prize. (AFP)

Got a question for Al? Try this: "Ask this Year's Nobel Laureates a Question!" - "Ever wanted to quiz a Nobel Laureate? Now’s your chance. Submit your question to one or more of this year’s Laureates, and we’ll pose the most interesting ones to the Laureates who are participating in “Nobel Minds”, an SVT/BBC World TV programme that will be aired in December, or who will feature in a special Q&A article that will appear on this website after the Nobel Prize ceremonies." (Nobelprize.org)

Dumb as doorknobs? "A Prize for Mr. Gore and Science" - "One can generate a lot of heartburn thinking about all of the things that would be better about this country and the world if the Supreme Court had done the right thing and ruled for Al Gore instead of George W. Bush in 2000. Mr. Gore certainly hasn’t let his disappointment stop him from putting the time since to very good use.

Yesterday, the Nobel committee celebrated that persistence and awarded the Peace Prize to Mr. Gore and a panel of United Nations scientists for their efforts to raise awareness of the clear and present danger of global warming." (New York Times)

A peace prize for people fomenting conflict between the developed and developing world, inciting class conflict between the have and have nots? For causing food shortages (and likely greater conflict) through panicked conversion of food crops to biofuels to avoid a phantom menace? And the 'science' part? That has degenerated to the point where computer-generated gibberish is confused with real data. What a sad state...

"Alongside Al Gore, an Indian 'climate control' engineer" - "Rajendra Pachauri heads the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Control, which was the co-winner of this year's Nobel Peace Prize." (The Christian Science Monitor)

"Inconvenient truths about the UN’s global warming panel." - "In relation to climate change, there is a clear present need to build up a sounder basis for reviewing and assessing the issues. Governments should ensure that they and their citizens are more fully and more objectively informed and advised." (Professor David Henderson, Wall Street Journal)

"Support For Call For Review Of UN IPCC" - "Dr Vincent Gray, a member of the UN IPCC Expert Reviewers Panel since its inception, has written to Professor David Henderson, to support the latter’s call for a review of the IPCC and its procedures. But Dr Gray goes further: calling for IPCC's abolition." (New Zealand Climate Science)

"Nobel Prize for Al Gore: ‘Old Europe’ fires back at the Bush administration" - "The awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to former Vice President Al Gore is a political statement by the European bourgeoisie about the policies of the Bush administration and the politics of the United States. Rarely has there been such an open intervention by the European ruling elite in the internal politics of America.

The political significance of Gore’s selection is clear, given that he is still an active figure in American politics, widely mentioned as a potential presidential candidate, who has on occasions attacked both the foreign and domestic policies of the Bush administration. At the very least, the award can be taken as a signal from the Norwegian political establishment—from which the selection committee is chosen—that it hopes for a Democratic victory in the 2008 presidential election." (Tehran Times)

Hey lookit! The Tyndall Centre News: IPCC and Al Gore win Nobel Peace Prize - The Tyndall Centre and UEA has had more named authors within the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change than any other University in the world
- Strategic Director Professor Bob Watson is former Environment Advisor to the Clinton/Gore White House and former Chair of the IPCC
- Deputy Director Professor John Shepherd is chair of the faculty of the Climate Leadership Programme in the UK, initiated by Al Gore and run by the Cambridge Programme for Industry.

The Tyndall Centre is the propaganda laureate's UK branch office.

"Does Nobel change debate?" - "California prepares to file lawsuit: Award could add fuel to fight against climate change." (Sacramento Bee)

Al got the same as Yasser Arafat... anyone suppose that's any kind of endorsement, for the 'science' or otherwise?

"Al Gore and the Mission of the Nobel Prizes" - "Al Gore has won the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. This choice, more than any other Nobel Committee selection, marks the end of a 105-year era. In direct contradiction of Alfred Nobel's last will and testament, the selection of Gore essentially means the Peace Prize can no longer be said to be an award for improving the condition of humankind. Looking at Gore's writing, it's far from clear that Gore even believes that humanity is his most important priority." (John Berlau, American Thinker)

"Run, Al, Run!" - "For burning lots of jet fuel spreading panic around the globe, Al Gore gets a Nobel Peace Prize. But if he really thinks his global warming theory could withstand public scrutiny, why not run for president? (IBD)

"Kristol and Krauthammer Nail the Absurdity of Gore Winning Nobel Peace Prize" - "Truth be told, I was hoping "Fox News Sunday" would totally ignore Friday's announcement that the Global Warmingist-in-Chief won the Nobel Peace Prize.

After all, mainstream news outlets regularly boycott events they deem un-newsworthy, like people receiving the Medal of Honor, for example.

As such, in the grand scheme of things, what really was the significance of a charlatan winning an award -- one that had previously been given to that marvelous humanitarian Yasser Arafat, no less! -- exactly one day after a real American hero was posthumously bestowed one of the finest honors in our land to a deafening media silence?

Despite my skepticism, as the panel discussion began Sunday, and Bill Kristol enunciated likely the exact sentiments shared by people still capable of thinking for themselves, I realized just how fortuitous it was for this to be the first topic on the docket." (Noel Sheppard, News Busters)

"Algore’s Nobel Prize for Globaloney" - "So, former Vice President Al Gore is worthy of a Nobel Peace Prize, awarded every year with a nice bag of money “to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between the nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.” The first thought that naturally springs to mind is a movie by a politician of him giving speeches about something that, well, won’t stand up in court.

And why not? Yasser Arafat took the honor, as did Mohamed ElBaradei just a few years ago for his efforts to stop nuclear weapons proliferation. No, seriously.

Kofi Anan shared the 2001 award with the United Nations, which force for global good actually boasts a handful of the trinkets. Henry Kissinger shared the Peace Prize in 1973 with Le Duc Tho, who refused it, apparently too busy planning the Communist conquest of South Vietnam (boy, was he embarrassed when it turned out they didn’t welcome him in the streets like his neo-Com advisors promised!). Gorbachev picked one up for ending the Cold War -- you remember that, don’t you? And so on. In short, the Nobel committee has a long history of sober, rational thought." (Christopher C. Horner, Human Events)

"Nobel Prize ignores inconvenient untruths to reward Gore" - "THERE is a beautiful congruency about Al Gore receiving the Nobel Peace Prize 24 hours after a High Court judge had declared it illegal to screen his 'man-made' climate change propaganda film An Inconvenient Truth in schools, unless accompanied by contradictory information to correct its scientific falsehoods. The judge identified nine scientific errors that would mislead pupils.

It takes more than nine inconvenient untruths, however, to deflect the Nobel Peace Prize committee from its political purpose. For aficionados of irony, last week was a deeply satisfying experience. To see the humbugs of the Nobel committee embracing the charlatan Gore to endorse his falsification of reality in what has become, globally, the flagship politically correct cause was as morally illuminating as the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact." (Scotland on Sunday)

"Please, sir - Gore's got warming wrong" - "THE tormentors of Al Gore, who last week won a legal victory against his film, An Inconvenient Truth, are to step up their battle by sending British secondary schools a documentary attacking the science of global warming.

Channel 4’s The Great Global Warming Swindle has become one of the most notorious documentaries of the year, attracting complaints from dozens of scientists and viewers.

This weekend, however, the campaigners behind the High Court case said they planned to send copies to 3,400 secondary schools “to counter Gore’s flagrant propaganda”. (Jonathan Leake, Sunday Times)

"Gore's prize: A fraud on the people" - "Five Norwegians gave a prize to Al Gore, and all the world is supposed to heed his counsel henceforth. No, thanks.

Alfred Nobel felt horrible about the uses to which his invention -- dynamite -- was put. So he endowed the Nobel Peace Prize and instructed that it go "to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between the nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses."

Al Gore has done exactly none of those things." (Union Leader)

It's alright though, Nude Socialist rides to Al's defense: Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth: unscientific?

"ABC Touts Gore Some More; Lets RFK Rant About Exxon Conspiracy" - "Saturday’s Good Morning America kept up the applause for Al Gore’s Nobel Peace Prize award, featuring a completely one-sided report from correspondent Bill Blakemore -- who said that scientists were “joyous” over the award to Gore because “scientists have been far more worried than anyone about global warming, finding it's far more dangerous, coming much quicker, than they expected” -- followed by an equally slanted interview with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., who lectured an admiring Bill Weir that the media have failed to suppress any disagreement with his liberal views “because of a massive propaganda campaign by the Exxon corporation.” (News Busters)

"One Man Challenges the World According to Gore" - "Stewart Dimmock of Kent, England deserves a nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize, though I doubt he’ll make the list.

This is the man who took Britain’s Department of Children, Schools and Families to court over their decision to brainwash children via a mandatory showing in British school’s of Al Gore’s highly politicized “An Inconvenient Truth.”

Mr. Dimmock took them to court and won a surprising victory. The High Court judge will allow the film to be shown, but it has to be accompanied by a study guide explaining the errors in Mr. Gore’s sensationalist diatribe. Actually the words the judge used to describe the film were “alarmist” and “Armageddon.”" (Gates of Vienna)

"Doom if Saint Al loses carbs" - "A COUPLE of days before Al Gore was awarded his Nobel Peace prize, Michael Burton, an English High Court judge and apparently a fine film critic, ruled that Al's Oscar-winner An Inconvenient Truth was prone to "alarmism and exaggeration" and identified nine major factual errors.

For example, the former vice-president predicts a rise in sea levels of 6m "in the near future". "The Armageddon scenario he predicts," declared Burton, "is not in line with the scientific consensus."

I'll say. The so-called scientific consensus of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change suggests rising sea levels across the next century of somewhere between 15cm and 60cm, with about 30cm being most likely. An Inconvenient Truth insouciantly adds a zero to the worst-case scenario.

And nobody minds. His Honour was examining the vice-president's acclaimed crockumentary because the British Government, in its wisdom, has decided to force-feed it to hundreds of thousands of schoolchildren. It would be nice to think it would have to be preceded by a warning that any resemblance between this film and any actual planet living or dead is entirely coincidental, but it seems more likely that the Nobel Peace imprimatur will completely insulate the picture from even the most modest quibbles.

A schoolkid in Ontario was complaining the other day that, whatever subject you do, you have to sit through Gore's movie: It turns up in biology class, in geography, in physics, in history, in English.

Whatever you're studying, it's all you need to know. It fulfils the same role in the schoolhouses of the guilt-ridden developed world that the Koran does in Pakistani madrassas." (Mark Steyn, The Australian)

Woe is them: "'Climate Year' Heads for Uncertain End" - "It's October and global warming campaigner Al Gore has won the Nobel Peace Prize. In November the U.N.'s climate scientists issue a capstone report on where the planet is headed. And in December envoys of almost 200 nations gather in Bali, Indonesia, hoping for action to head off the worst of climate change.

But because of something that happened in September, their chances look slim. (AP)

And if you believe this they'll tell you another: "IPCC reports Bible of climate change" - "NEW DELHI: The IPCC is a panel of hundreds of scientists put together under the United Nations and the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) in 1988 to evaluate the risk of climate change brought on by humans and to explain to the world, in layman's language, where unsustainable consumption is leading the planet.

The panel does not carry out its own research, which perhaps would have been less contentious, but assesses and evaluates existing research — studies published by scientists from all over the world on climate change — what is happening, why it is happening and how it will change the way we know this planet.

Their reports have now become a Bible that any debate on climate change has to cite, verse by verse. And behind the veneer of the polite yet firm IPCC reports sits months of hectic lobbying and argument. Its chairman Dr R K Pachauri, on the eve of releasing the third part of the fourth assessment report (released recently) explained, "We are scientists and we work diplomatically not politically." (Times of India)

It's change but it's not change, it's just changing: "Climate change making Mont Blanc even higher" - "CHAMONIX, France: Western Europe's highest mountain, Mont Blanc, is taller than ever due to snow piled atop its summit, in what experts meeting in France have described as a climate change-related phenomenon.

The Alps' tallest peak was measured at 4810.9 metres on September 15 and 16 - a 2.15-metre increase in two years, surveyors from France's Haute-Savoie region said on Saturday.

"The height as well as the volume of Mont Blanc has increased considerably, because the snow has massed on the summit over the last two years," Philippe Borel said at a meeting in the Alpine town Chamonix.

The volume of ice on Mont Blanc's slopes over 4800 metres high was first calculated at 14,600 cubic metres in 2003. It dropped to 14,300 cubic metres two years later, but then almost doubled to 24,100 cubic metres in 2007.

"There is generally no increase in the amount of precipitation in the Alps, but the climate changes," said a meteorologist, Yan Giezendanner. "We're registering a greater frequency of winds from the west which bring rain and higher temperatures." (Agence France-Presse)

"Global Climate-Change Bills Before Congress" - "Members of Congress and their staffs are facing a growing body of legislation intended to address global climate change. Given the tremendous complexity of this issue, and given that few offices have any specialized expertise in it, understanding the implications of these climate-change bills may seem like an impossible task.

Nonetheless, Members of Congress may face votes on one or more such bills in the near future. This guide is intended to give non-experts an overview of how the major pieces of climate-change legislation would work. Subsequent analyses will delve further into the economic impacts of these bills." (Ben Lieberman and William W. Beach, Heritage)

"World Bank Carbon Fund to Pay for Protecting Forests" - "WASHINGTON - A new fund being developed by the World Bank would pay developing countries hundreds of millions of dollars for protecting and replanting tropical forests, which store huge amounts of carbon that causes climate change." (Reuters)

"Heaps of climate gas: Pasturing cows convert soil to a source of methane" - "The cow as a killer of the climate: This inglorious role of our four-legged friends, peaceful in itself, is well-enough recognised, because, with their digestion, the animals produce methane, which is expelled continuously. Now, however, a team of German scientists from the Institute of Soil Ecology of the GSF – National Research Center for Environment and Health (Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres) and Czech colleagues at the Budweis Academy of Science have been able to show that bovine animals can also boost the production of this climate gas in soil." (GSF - National Research Center for Environment and Health )

Um, no... "Even as economy lags, corporate 'green' push may advance" - "Companies used to shelve environmental initiatives when times got tough, but now, with oil so expensive, spending on green projects is expected to accelerate." (The Christian Science Monitor)

... this is simply market forces optimizing economy and efficiency.

"EU Lightbulb Duties Now Facing Court Challenge" - "BRUSSELS - The European Commission is facing a court challenge to its controversial anti-dumping duties on imports of energy-saving light bulbs from China, a lawyer said on Friday." (Reuters)

"'No Nukes' Stars Reunite to Fight Nuclear Power" - "LOS ANGELES - Nearly three decades after they banded together for a series of "No Nukes" concerts that yielded an album and movie, musicians Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt and Graham Nash have revived their protest of nuclear power." (Reuters)

"UK can't afford cold feet over nuclear power" - "The most important decision facing Gordon Brown is not how robustly he should defend Britain's "red lines" at the EU summit in Lisbon, nor whether to have a referendum on the treaty, nor even whether to attend the rugby World Cup final and cheer on England. It is a far more crucial question: when will Britain reinstate its nuclear power programme?" (London Telegraph)

Current eye-roller: "Obesity crisis ‘on the same scale as global warming’" - "Ministers are drawing up plans for a concerted fight against obesity as they believe that there is a looming public health crisis to rival that of climate change.

Alan Johnson, the Health Secretary, said that efforts to promote exercise and healthy eating had to go “further and faster” in response to the stark findings of a new government study.

The Foresight research, commissioned in 2005 to help ministers to understand the scale of the problem, gave warning that half the population would be obese within 25 years if current trends continue." (The Times)

"Harvard’s Inconvenient Data About Diet and Cancer" - "Harvard’s massive pooling project is challenging conventional wisdom about diet and health – and a delay in publishing the most controversial finding has politicians demanding answers." (Trevor Butterworth, STATS)

"Social networking diet" - "The web has become the place to see and be seen, especially for young people. The social scene for many has moved online, as communities of “friends” take on increasing importance in their lives. These groups are where many also turn to for information about serious issues, such as their health. It’s easy to believe that faceless entities are who they say they are and that the information and advice they give is trustworthy.

But an article in the Wall Street Journal warns that diet and health companies and marketers are taking advantage of the trust that develops within online communities. One result is the growth of a new type of diet: The Social Networking Diet." (Junkfood Science)

"A refreshing reminder: food is good" - "Remember when newspaper and magazines shared the joys of delicious foods without all of the baggage of health scares, dietary prescriptions and politicalization of our food choices? Remember when we were regularly reminded that food is one of life’s greatest pleasures? How long has it been since we’ve heard good news about the food we love and been encouraged to enjoy food without guilt and worry?" (Junkfood Science)

"This is scholastic achievement?" - "From the “What are they teaching our children?” file comes another school-based childhood obesity initiative with no sound basis in science. Worse, it teaches children to fear healthful foods they need and teaches prejudices against their heavier classmates." (Junkfood Science)

"Scholastic update" - "For the multitude of readers who have written in response to yesterday’s story, here is additional information that may be of help." (Junkfood Science)

"The State on behalf of children" - "Fifteen more state governments were recently awarded one-year grants of $100,000 apiece in recognition of their Governors making childhood obesity a top priority. The awards were given by the National Governors Association for Best Practices." (Junkfood Science)

"Ghostwriter update" - "The three-year controversy over the publication of the results of a clinical trial written by a ghostwriter who was working for a pharmaceutical company that simultaneously kept the study’s raw data from the researcher has had an interesting development." (Junkfood Science)

"Tiny tots not tiny enough?" - "Dr. Robyn Silverman has written tips for parents to help their children who feel fat in today’s thin-obsessed environment. As a child and adolescent development specialist and expert on body image, Dr. Silverman says she has heard it all as children struggle to fit in in a world that focuses on an idealized outside appearance, rather than what’s inside. What may be startling is how young extreme weight concerns begin and how quickly little girls are hit with ridicule from their friends for being even the tiniest bit heavier." (Junkfood Science)

"Targeting the poor" - "There’s gobs of money to be made taking advantage of poor people and convincing them slimness and nutritional products mean better health and social acceptance. And, as the Los Angeles Times revealed, plenty of people are willing to do just that." (Junkfood Science)

"Chocolate cake" - "RioIriri has written a personal essay examining good food-bad food beliefs and the psychological self-torture people put themselves through over every bite of food. She talks to those struggling with healthy food choices and the guilt or shame we’re supposed to feel when eating something that’s been labelled “bad.” As she says, it’s not the cake that’s going to hurt us at all, it’s all the stuff surrounding us to make us feel miserable and keep us from enjoying life and being glad for what we have." (Junkfood Science)

"First ever government database on us and our children" - "The largest and most expensive government study on child health in the history of the United States was launched this past week. Is this a clinical trial to test a cure for cancer or promising new treatment for a devastating child disease?


It is to create the largest governmental database of personal information on 100,000 families. This database will be available for dredging to try and find endless correlations to child health problems that “seem to be increasing at epidemic rates” such as obesity, heart disease, autism, ADHD, asthma and birth defects." (Junkfood Science)

"Nitrogen -- the silent species eliminator" - "Nitrogen pollution from agriculture and fossil fuels is known to be seriously damaging grasslands in the UK. A new European study is starting to show that the effect is Europe-wide, confirming that current policies to protect ecosystems may need a re-think." (European Science Foundation)

"French Farm Union Urges GMO Law Rapidly" - "PARIS - France's largest farm union urged the government on Friday to introduce a law governing GMO crops as soon as possible so that long-standing disagreements over the issue could give way to progress." (Reuters)

October 12, 2007

"DDT Backlash Continues" - "Ever since the World Health Organization reversed the environmentalist-promoted ban on DDT in 2006, eco-activists have scrambled to devise new ways to malign the life-saving insecticide in order to salvage their badly marred reputation." (Steve Milloy, FoxNews.com)

Support the campaign against DDT scaremongering with a DDT T-shirt!
Only available from the JunkScience.com Store

Al Gore wins Nobel Prize for Propaganda! Why was Al Gore's movie one-sided? ... Because uncertainty would only fuel opposition to greenhouse gas regulation! - A must-watch clip! (BBC)

Read the JunkScience.com media release

"Some Inconvenient Truths For Gore" - "Al Gore's documentary on climate disaster has been ruled a work of fiction by a British judge. In legal terms, his global warming hysteria has been assuming facts not in evidence." (IBD)


Enter the excusers: "Science and politics collide" - "The presence of a few errors in Al Gore's film should not undermine the thrust of his message." (Mark Lynas, The Guardian)

"Seriously Inconvenient Truth: Producers of Gore’s Film Asked to Return Oscars" - "As media in America fall all over themselves with glee at the thought of the Global Warmingist-in-Chief winning a Nobel Peace Prize, Wednesday's findings by a British judge that Al Gore's film "An Inconvenient Truth" contained nine material falsehoods has prompted a request to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to strip the movie's producers of the Oscars they received in February for "Best Documentary." (News Busters)

"What has Al Gore done for world peace?" - "Today we will learn whether Al Gore has won the Nobel peace prize. As someone who cares passionately about climate change, I'll be saying a little prayer. That he doesn't win, of course.

The former US Vice-President has already taken over from Michael Moore as the most sanctimonious lardbutt Yank on the planet. Can you imagine what he'll be like if the Norwegian Nobel committee gives him the prize?

More to the point, can you imagine how enormous his already massive carbon footprint will become once he starts jetting around the world bragging about his new title?" (Damian Thompson, London Telegraph)

"Bookies warm to Al for Nobel Peace Prize" - "Swedish bookmakers say Al Gore and a Polish woman who saved 2,500 Jewish kids from the Holocaust have a 4-1 chance at winning the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday." (Daily News)

"Students’ play could lead to Nobel Peace Prize for Polish social worker" - "Eight years ago, in a tiny southeast Kansas town, four girls had a goal: Tell the story of a woman who saved 2,500 children during the Holocaust.

Maybe, through their high school history project, these students could do Irena Sendler’s story justice.

But no one in Uniontown, Kan., could have imagined how far the 10-minute play they would write and perform would take them.

Or that they’d find themselves so eager for Friday morning when, in Oslo, Norway, the Nobel Peace Prize winner will be announced. Observers focus on a handful of finalists: Al Gore, Canadian environmentalist Sheila Watt-Cloutier, Bolivian President Evo Morales.

And Irena Sendler." (Kansas City Star)

"Mixed Atlantic Hurricane Season Puzzles Experts" - "MIAMI - Judge the 2007 Atlantic hurricane season by the 13 storms so far, and it looks like a relatively busy year. But look at the number of days a hurricane has swirled in the Atlantic, or use other measures of a storm season's ferocity, and 2007 has been surprisingly benign." (Reuters)

Considering just about every Atlantic breeze got a name (even outside the tropics) the season really has to rate as a bust. Be interesting to see how the gorebull warmers explain this one away...*

* No, that doesn't mean we subscribe to the warming = hurricanes hypothesis but warmers constantly tout CO2-emission = warming = hurricanes and yet here we are, CO2-emitted has definitely and measurably increased but this has not recently been associated with either increase in temperatures nor hurricanes.

"Scientists Use GPS Signals to Measure Earth's Atmosphere" - "Using a technique originally developed in the 1960s for understanding the atmospheric properties of far-away planets, scientists around the world have been using radio signals from GPS satellites to learn more about the atmosphere of our own planet." (SPACE.com)

"Study of bacterial communities may provide climate-change clues" - "As part of the world carbon cycle, bacterial communities in freshwater lakes break down carbon in decaying organic matter, converting it into carbon dioxide that is released into the atmosphere." (University of Wisconsin-Madison)

Thing is, carbon dioxide becomes less important to global climate (actually enhanced greenhouse effect) with each added molecule. You get a lot of bang for your buck (or molecule) going from say 2ppmv to 20ppmv (the same as you got going from 0.2 to 2ppmv or +1.8ppmv) but to repeat that effect requires an order of magnitude more carbon dioxide (not +18 but +180ppmv). To repeat the effect again requires an additional 1,800ppmv.

Now, there's some contention over just how much cooler the planet would be without any atmospheric carbon dioxide so just call the increase in temperature from 0.2 to 2ppmv "1 unit" (whatever it might be). 1 unit of warming requires +1.8ppmv (to 2.0ppmv); 2 units requires +18ppmv (to 20); 3 units: +180 (to 200ppmv); 4 units +1800 to 2,000ppmv and so on....

Already, at about 380ppmv, a molecule's warming just ain't what it used to be (plus 100ppmv from pre-Industrial Revolution is thought to have added about ~0.15 K to global mean temperature) and we now need to add another 136ppmv (to 516ppmv) to do what the last 100 did, then we'd need to get to 700ppmv to add another ~0.15 K and even then that's allowing for no increase in convective activity or any other negative feedback. How we could increase surface warming without an increase in convective activity is unknown since this is precisely what happens in the real world daily (just watch soaring birds or ask a glider pilot).

Whoa! Under the AIP banner, no less! "Are we asking the wrong questions about global warming?" - "Public discussion over global warming is often caught in a vortex of misinformation perpetuated by extreme forces who say it’s all just a big hoax.

This often causes the most relevant scientific questions to get lost, suggests Washington state climatologist Philip Mote, who has been working for years to understand climate changes brought about by human activity.

What we should be talking about when we talk about climate change, Mote suggests, is no longer if it is occurring but how and where. Further, what lasting impacts climate change will have upon individual regions like the Pacific Northwest, and most important, what can we do about it" (American Institute of Physics)

Actually Philip, no we are not asking the right questions. We should be asking the relevance of global mean temperature as a metric. We should be asking by what mechanism increase in an essential trace gas could conceivably suppress the trivial increase in convection required to completely negate enhanced greenhouse effect. We should be asking why physicists have fallen for the Marvelous Magical Magnifiers used in the virtual realm to make the known physical properties of carbon dioxide morph into a malevolent force. We should be asking why alleged scientists have abandoned observation and empirical measure in favor of computer-generated fantasies.

Indeed Philip, the right questions are not being asked and it's high time they were!

"USHCN Station Surveys - Completion by State" - "www.surfacestations.org volunteer Gary Boden has provided me an updated version of the Excel speadsheet I use to chart this project. This version calculates the completion of USHCN surveys by state, as seen below. We could really use some help in Arkansas, Delaware, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Nebraska, North Dakota, and West Virginia. If you live in these states, and can help complete this important survey of official climate stations, please visit www.surfacestations.org and sign up." (Watts Up With That?)

"Warming isn't our No. 1 woe" - "So much of the global warming phenomenon is strictly showbiz. Public policy showbiz accomplishes little other than to make the participants feel better by creating the illusion that they're doing something constructive. Wearing a colored ribbon or bracelet is showbiz. Candlelight vigils -- group showbiz. Having troops patrol airports with unloaded guns is also showbiz, Big Government style.

There's nothing bad about feeling good, but policy showbiz becomes harmful when it pays more attention to feelings than fundamental facts. This is precisely the case with global warming.

As an N&O article detailed Sunday, Raleigh and North Carolina are rushing head first into the global warming fight. They're hell bent on reducing greenhouse gasses, even though it is a fact these economically harmful policies won't do much, if anything, to cool the Earth.

Such is the power of showbiz. If leaving a healthy and prosperous world to our grandchildren is truly the goal of Big Environment and eco-lawmakers, then waging a costly war against global warming isn't the solution. It's socially, economically and morally irresponsible." (Rick Martinez, News & Observer)

Enviro disaster-porn feature: "Planet in Peril a CNN Worldwide Investigation, Takes Viewers to Front Lines of Environmental Change" - "In a sweeping four-hour documentary about the threats to the world's environment, Planet in Peril takes viewers to places where environmental change is not a theory or just a future forecast, but a crisis happening in real time." (Press Release)

More climate disaster-porn: "The time has come for drastic action" - "Living as we did in the 1950s may save the Earth and us.

SCIENTIFIC projections about climate change continue to worsen. Leading Australian scientist Tim Flannery said this week that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) "synthesis" report for 2007 — to be released next month — would conclude that greenhouse gases had already reached levels "with the potential to cause dangerous climate change".

There is now a growing concern among scientists that the two-degree warming cap accepted by the United Nations and European Union was based on a political compromise rather than a genuine scientific target. According to a paper prepared by Carbonequity, The Big Melt: Lessons from the Arctic Summer of 2007, which is available online, with the speed of change now in the climate system and the positive feedbacks that two degrees will trigger, it looms as a death sentence for a billion people and a million species." (The Age)

"Widening Arctic meltdown chills Canadian scientists" - "This year may be seen as 'tipping point' in march of climate change, official says" (Ed Struzik, The Edmonton Journal)

"Climate Change Likely to Increase Fires" - "LAS VEGAS - Climate change is likely to increase the number of wildfires fueled by invasive weeds that are spreading throughout the Great Basin, researchers told a U.S. Senate subcommittee Thursday.

Researchers described a potential increase in the amount of cheatgrass and other invasive weeds that populate the region and have fueled wildfires that have burned hundreds of thousands of acres in the West." (Associated Press)

It isn't pollution... "The unheralded polluter: cement industry comes clean on its impact" - "There were no climate change protesters waiting to jeer as the chief executives and other senior figures of one of the world's biggest industries gathered on Wednesday. Yet they represented a business that produces more than 5% of mankind's carbon dioxide emissions. And they were in Brussels to discuss climate change.

The summit was not called by the aviation industry - that is comparatively clean in comparison. Nor was it made up of car makers, oil companies, shipping firms or any other business that has traditionally drawn the fire of green campaigners.

These chief executives deal in a more down-to-earth commodity: cement. It is the key ingredient in concrete, and one that is rapidly emerging as a major obstacle on the world's path to a low-carbon economy.

No company will make carbon-neutral cement any time soon. The manufacturing process depends on burning vast amounts of cheap coal to heat kilns to more than 1,500C. It also relies on the decomposition of limestone, a chemical change which frees carbon dioxide as a byproduct. So as demand for cement grows, for sewers, schools and hospitals as well as for luxury hotels and car parks, so will greenhouse gas emissions. Cement plants and factories across the world are projected to churn out almost 5bn tonnes of carbon dioxide annually by 2050 - 20 times as much as the government has pledged the entire UK will produce by that time." (The Guardian)

"EU's Path Leads to a Dead End" - "After speaking with some erstwhile skeptics of the environmentalists' agenda it appears that it is quite important that the education of policymakers improve regarding Europe's actual experience with Kyoto-style global warming regulation. I say this after sitting in on a meeting between a European lawmaker and a pivotal congressional leader on the matter. This involved an individual bringing a message of the EU experience that the U.S. lawmaker quite plainly did not wish to hear. Further, the latter’s deflections of the European’s message were verbatim what, e.g., Greenpeace says publicly: “it’s just too early to state that the EU Emissions Trading Scheme has been unsuccessful.” (Chris Horner, Cooler Heads Blog)

"A Quest for Energy in the Globe’s Remote Places" - "HAMMERFEST, Norway — For a quarter-century, energy executives were tantalized by vast quantities of natural gas in one of the world’s least hospitable places — 90 miles off Norway’s northern coast, beneath the Arctic Ocean.

Bitter winds and frequent snowstorms lash the region. The sun disappears for two months a year. No oil company knew how to operate in such a harsh environment.

But Norway has finally solved the problem. The other day, on an island just offshore, a giant yellow flame illuminated the sky here. It was just a temporary flare for excess gas, but it signaled a new era in energy production." (New York Times)

"New membrane strips carbon dioxide from natural gas faster and better" - "A modified plastic material greatly improves the ability to separate global warming-linked carbon dioxide from natural gas as the gas is prepared for use, according to engineers at The University of Texas at Austin who have analyzed the new plastic’s performance." (University of Texas at Austin)

Separating CO2 from CH4 is commercially important and just plain useful -- wonder why they felt the need to insert "global warming-linked" before carbon dioxide, especially when methane is the more potent greenhouse gas?

"Candor on How CAFE Overrides Consumers' Preferences" - "Writing in yesterday's Wall Street Journal, columnist Holman Jenkins relayed a priceless quote on CAFE from new Ford CEO and former Boeing executive Alan Mulally:

"For all you read about it, it was difficult to understand the degree to which the CAFE regulations distort the market . . . Ford had to put out two small cars and discount their prices to get people to take them, so that we could also make and sell cars customers really wanted."

It’s not often you see such refreshing candor on how fuel-economy regulations actually work." (Joel Schwartz, Planet Gore)

"China and India biofuels said threat to food output" - "OSLO - Plans by China and India to raise biofuels production from irrigated maize and sugarcane could aggravate water shortages and undermine food output, an international report said on Thursday." (Reuters)

"Nuclear-Free Sweden is Still Only a Dream" - "STOCKHOLM - Nearly thirty years after Sweden voted to phase out nuclear energy, firms are quietly increasing plant capacity and there is no end in sight for a power source still providing half of the nation's electricity." (Reuters)

"Germany alarmed by Brussels' renewable energy plans" - "Germany is concerned that European Commission legislative plans will harm its system of subsidy policy for renewable electricity, resulting in a loss running to billions of euros.

German daily Financial Times Deutschland reports that Brussels is planning to create a trading system for green electricity based on
a system of pre-set quotas for EU member states.

The plan is to be unveiled in December as part of a overall package laying out how member states will ensure that 20% of their energy comes from renewable sources, a goal the EU set itself earlier this year.

But Berlin fears the commission plan will undermine its current subsidy system whereby the building of wind, sun or other green installations are supported with fixed prices for how much they feed into the electricity net.

This support has led to a boom in the renewable energy sector." (EUobserver)

"A sea change: the wind farm revolution" - "Giant turbines are rapidly becoming a feature of the landscape. And now a wave of applications is poised to make Britain the world leader in offshore wind power generation. But there's one hurdle in the way of this breakthrough for renewable energy: bureaucracy. Ian Herbert reports" (London Independent)

‘‘Exporting Monkeys for Research Helps Conservation’’ - "PORT LOUIS - Some 10,000 macaque monkeys, considered a nuisance in Mauritius, were exported last year to the United States, the United Kingdom and Japan to be used in medical research." (IPS)

"Skeptics' Circle — Puzzling evidence" - "The latest edition of Skeptics’ Circle has just been posted at Infophilia. The theme is logic puzzles. This issue will require some hard thinking. As the host says: “After all, logic is one of the best razors against irrational thinking, and like any razor it needs to be periodically sharpened.” (Junkfood Science)

October 11, 2007

"UN Urges Preparedness for More Frequent Disasters" - "UNITED NATIONS - Amid a dramatic increase in climate-related disasters, international relief agencies are calling on countries to increase their commitment to disaster risk reduction, the United Nations said on Tuesday.

"Climate change is already driving an increase in the frequency and intensity of heat waves, floods, droughts and tropical cyclones. We believe that more needs to be done to contain these natural disasters at the outset," said UN Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs John Holmes." (Reuters)

We find ourselves in some agreement with the UN on this one -- not the climate nonsense, of course, but that countries need to increase their disaster preparedness. With this in mind a most timely piece follows:

"Democracy, GDP and Natural Disasters" - "Amartya Sen won the Nobel Prize in economics in 1998 with the observation that there has never been a famine in a nation that has a democratic form of government and a free press. A similar relationship exists for natural disasters: Deaths associated with natural disasters are lower for nations with democratic forms of government and the associated higher national income, or Gross Domestic Product (GDP). In general, the World Bank’s Democracy Index, a measure of how strong a democracy is, and a nation’s GDP are stronger predictors of a natural disaster’s humanitarian impact (as measured by deaths) than either the size of the event or the population density in the area of the disaster. Global increases in democracy and GDP may therefore partially explain the apparent paradox of the generally decreasing death toll associated with natural disasters despite the increased population density in high-risk areas." (Gregory E. van der Vink and co-authors, Geotimes)

Uh-huh... "Agency: Pollution Cuts Europe Lifespans" - "BELGRADE, Serbia - Poor air and water quality, and environmental changes blamed on global warming, have cut Europeans' life expectancy by nearly a year, Europe's environmental agency warned Wednesday.

More must be done -- fast -- to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to improve air and water quality, the European Environment Agency said in a 400-page report presented at a ministerial conference held in Serbia.

Hundreds of thousands of people across Europe are dying prematurely because of air pollution, it said. "The estimated annual loss of life is significantly greater than that due to car accidents," the report said.

At this rate, life expectancy in western and central Europe will be shorter by nearly a year, it said. The current average age expectancy in western and central Europe is 70 for men and 74 for women." (Associated Press) | The pan-European region: environmental challenges (EEA)

Here's a question for you: how come "profligate Americans" with their dreadfully unhealthy lifestyles and diets, rampant obesity and allegedly poor environmental track record and polluting ways have longer life expectancies (75 for men and 81 for women)? Why isn't the home of socialised medicine and environmental angst (and regulation) kicking America's obese butt in the longevity stakes?

"Climate change film to stay in the classroom" - "A parent has failed in his legal action to prevent Al Gore's climate change documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, being shown in schools in England.

But today's High Court ruling stated the film must be distributed with new guidance notes for students and teachers to prevent "promoting partisan political views".

The judge said that Stewart Dimmock, a Kent school governor with two children and a member of a political group called the New Party, had "substantially" won his case because without new guidance to schools from the government, it would have been in breach of the law." (EducationGuardian.co.uk)

Perhaps you have to be a Guardianista to get "failed" from a judge's statement of "substantially won".

In order for the film to be shown, the Government must first amend their Guidance Notes to Teachers to make clear that:

  1. The Film is a political work and promotes only one side of the argument.
  2. If teachers present the Film without making this plain they may be in breach of section 406 of the Education Act 1996 and guilty of political indoctrination.
  3. Eleven inaccuracies have to be specifically drawn to the attention of school children.

The specified inaccuracies are:

  • The film claims that melting snows on Mount Kilimanjaro evidence global warming.
    The Government’s expert was forced to concede that this is not correct.
  • The film suggests that evidence from ice cores proves that rising CO2 causes temperature increases over 650,000 years.
    The Court found that the film was misleading: over that period the rises in CO2 lagged behind the temperature rises by 800-2000 years.
  • The film uses emotive images of Hurricane Katrina and suggests that this has been caused by global warming.
    The Government’s expert had to accept that it was “not possible” to attribute one-off events to global warming.
  • The film shows the drying up of Lake Chad and claims that this was caused by global warming.
    The Government’s expert had to accept that this was not the case.
  • The film claims that a study showed that polar bears had drowned due to disappearing arctic ice.
    It turned out that Mr Gore had misread the study: in fact four polar bears drowned and this was because of a particularly violent storm.
  • The film threatens that global warming could stop the Gulf Stream throwing Europe into an ice age
    The Claimant’s evidence was that this was a scientific impossibility.
  • The film blames global warming for species losses including coral reef bleaching.
    The Government could not find any evidence to support this claim.
  • The film suggests that the Greenland ice covering could melt causing sea levels to rise dangerously.
    The evidence is that Greenland will not melt for millennia.
  • The film suggests that the Antarctic ice covering is melting
    The evidence was that it is in fact increasing.
  • The film suggests that sea levels could rise by 7m causing the displacement of millions of people.
    In fact the evidence is that sea levels are expected to rise by about 40cm over the next hundred years and that there is no such threat of massive migration.
  • The film claims that rising sea levels has caused the evacuation of certain Pacific islands to New Zealand.
    The Government are unable to substantiate this and the Court observed that this appears to be a false claim.

"SCIENTIFIC FRAUD 'BY UN IPCC AND OTHERS'" - "Expert reviewer says 'the IPCC is not a regular scientific organisation but one set up to support the global warming lobby at any costs, including the loss of scientific integrity.'" (New Zealand Climate Science Coalition)

"Misplaced Trust" - "Governments world-wide are mishandling climate-change issues. Policies to curb "greenhouse gas" emissions too often take the form of costly specific regulations rather than a general price-based incentive such as a carbon tax. More fundamentally, there is good reason to question the advice on which governments are basing their policies." (David Henderson, Wall Street Journal) | .pdf for the access-challenged

"CLIMATIC CHANGES IN SUBARCTIC EURASIA BASED ON MILLENNIAL TREE RING CHRONOLOGIES" - "INTRODUCTION: - According to calculations based on climatic models, the strongest warming should be observed in the high latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere, with an increase of 3-4 C (Kelly et al. 1982; Budyko, Israel 1987). However, data obtained from analysis of the radial growth of trees from the sub-Arctic area of Eurasia, an area closely tied to the temperature changes, do not show such significant changes in climatic conditions (Briffa et al. 1998; Naurzbaev, Vaganov 2000; Sidorova et al. 2005 ). The rate and amplitude of the current warming testify about its uncommonness during the past centuries (Briffa et al. 1995; Mann et al. 1998). The Medieval Warm Period (A.D. 900-1300) is a recent, possible analog, although available data disagrees in many respects relative to its magnitude and duration (Bradley 1999). Other studies suggest similar temperature in the Northern Hemisphere during this period and the current warming (Dahl-Jensen et al. 1998; Naurzbaev, Vaganov 2000; Sidorova, Vaganov 2002; Esper et al. 2002, Sidorova et al. 2005).


  • The Eurasian long-term tree-ring chronologies are revealed the global climate fluctuation (Medieval Warm Period, Little Ice Age, current warming).
  • As last as a current temperature changes are characterized the spatial heterogeneity - different value of temperature fluctuation in different subarctic sectors.
  • Current warming started at the beginning of the XIX-th century and presently does not exceed the amplitude of the medieval warming.
  • The tree ring chronologies do not indicate unusually abrupt temperature rise during the last century, which could be reliably associated with greenhouse gas increasing in the atmosphere of our planet. The current period is characterized by heterogeneous warming effects in the subarctic regions of Eurasia." (Olga V. Sidorova, Mukhtar M. Naurzbaev, Eugene A. Vaganov, V.N. Sukachev Institute of Forest SB RAS, Krasnoyarsk, Russia)

Lot of this nonsense about: "A key threshold crossed" - "An Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report to be released next month will show that the limit on greenhouse-gases scientists hoped to avert has already been surpassed." (The Christian Science Monitor)

We have to wonder why near-surface and lower tropospheric measures made a trivial step-rise in the beginning of the century and have gone nowhere since. Many of our readers have wondered, if this is such a nasty threshold, where is the feared warming? Perhaps this will finally allay the fears of warming worriers when they realize a dreaded future benchmark has quietly passed without effect? Somehow, we doubt it.

CSM has been printing collations of letters about climate change but we are not aware they printed this one:

Subject: Anthropogenic (i.e. man-made) global warming skepticism

Dear Sirs:
I am an Accredited Methodist Preacher who is an Expert Peer Reviewer for the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (i.e. I am both a Christian Preacher and one of the "thousands of UN climate scientists" whom the media like to mis-quote). So, I write in response to your request saying;
We'd like to hear from you. Do you think climate-change skeptics are raising persuasive points or ignoring strong scientific evidence? Write to: letters@csmonitor.com.
People have always changed local climates. For example, it is warmer in a city than its surrounding countryside. And nothing is constant in nature – everything changes all the time – so climate has never been constant. The Bible says Joseph told Pharaoh to prepare for climate change in the Bronze Age (Genesis 41), and he told Pharaoh to prepare for the bad times when in the good times. All sensible governments have adopted that policy throughout the thousands of years since then. 

That tried and tested climate policy is sensible because people will merely complain at taxes in the good times, but they will revolt if they are short of food in the bad times. But in 1990 several governments decided to abandon that policy and, instead, to try to control the climate of the entire Earth. 
This policy of global climate control arises from the hypothesis of anthropogenic (that is, man-made) global warming (or AGW).
The hypothesis of AGW has existed since the 1880s. It was an obscure scientific hypothesis that burning fossil fuels would increase carbon dioxide (CO2) in the air to enhance the greenhouse effect and thus cause global warming. Before the 1980s this hypothesis was usually regarded as a curiosity because the nineteenth century calculations indicated that average global temperature should have risen more than 1°C by 1940, and it had not. Then, in 1979, Mrs Margaret Thatcher (now Lady Thatcher) became Prime Minister of the UK , and she elevated the hypothesis to the status of a major international policy issue. 
Nowadays, there is much hype about anthropogenic global warming (AGW). And – in the midst of the hype – it is easy to forget that there is no evidence for man-made global warming; none, not any of any kind. 

The existence of global warming (GW) is not evidence of anthropogenic global warming (AGW) because warming of the Earth does not prove that human activity warmed it. At issue is whether human activity is or is not affecting the changes to the Earth’s temperature that have always happened naturally.  

The Earth must have warmed or cooled over the past 100 years if its temperature were not constant over the past 100 years. And nothing is constant in nature (as the hymn says, "everything changes but God changes not"). The fact is that any warming that may have happened during the last 100 years is within natural climate variability that has occurred in the past. And that warming could be a completely natural recovery from the Little Ice Age that is similar to the recovery from the Dark Age cool period to the Medieval Warm Period. A claim that man-made global warming exists is merely an assertion: it is not evidence and it is not fact.  And the assertion does not become evidence or fact by being voiced, written in words, or written in computer code.
But the fact that there is no evidence for AGW is not evidence that AGW is not happening. Simply, there is no evidence that AGW is happening, and there is no evidence that AGW is not happening, either.
However, it is known as a certain fact that the AGW projected by computer models (known as GCMs) of global climate is not happening. All the climate models show more warming in the upper troposphere than near the surface (especially away from polar regions) as a result of increased radiative forcing from increased atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations. However, measurements of temperatures in the troposphere (obtained from weather balloons) fail to show any such warming of the upper troposphere.
Nobody doubts that more CO2 in the atmosphere will increase radiative forcing, but AGW-proponents say this will cause the atmosphere to respond in a particular way. The pattern of the proposed response is a 'fingerprint' for AGW. Therefore, if that 'fingerprint' is absent - and it is absent - then any observed warming is not a result of the AGW they project.
We live in the troposphere, and the 'fingerprint' evidence is clear evidence that the man-made global warming projected by climate models is not happening.
Meanwhile, the AGW-bandwagon is being used as an excuse to deflect monies from Third World Development towards projects that purport to “stabilize climate”. Nobody knows enough about the climate system to have any hope of controlling it and, therefore, the idea that humans can stabilize climate is plain daft:  any "climate stabilization program" is doomed to certain failure.  

What next, an emergency Sun stabilization program, or emergency earthquake stabilization program, or emergency volcano stabilization program, or ... ?
Deflecting funds from care of the World’s poor is evil. I distrust people and organizations that claim a concern for the World’s poor while deflecting monies towards silly attempts to stabilize the World’s climate and away from real efforts for Third World Development . Jesus said; “The poor are always with us”, and it seems these people and organizations are trying to keep it that way.  

Climate has never been stable anywhere on Earth, and it never will be stable anywhere on Earth. People need to cope with that as they always have.
All the best

From: Richard S Courtney BA ABSW FRSA ESEF

"Corporate response to carbon survey falls short" - "More Canadian companies are tallying how climate change will affect their operations, but they're leaving investors in the dark about it, a report says.

Just 88 of the country's top 200 companies by market capitalization provided details to a worldwide survey of how corporations are tackling climate change. That's 13 per cent better than the Canadian response to the same survey a year ago, but it remains paltry by global comparisons.

The survey, known as the Carbon Disclosure Project, is conducted in this country by the Conference Board of Canada, which will release its report today." (Globe and Mail)

Well, here's 88 companies wasting time and shareholders' funds on nonsense surveys they should've binned on receipt. Shareholders have two courses of action available: move their funds to more responsible and better managed enterprises or begin moves to replace the mismanagers in their current holdings. There is no conceivable real-world circumstance under which providing information to anticorporate mischief-makers (at shareholders' cost, too!) constitutes anything but plain stupidity. Sad that only 56% of the alleged top 200 companies had managers with more sense than to give aid and comfort to extortionists.

Ooh... bad timing: "Nobel laureates feel vindicated as climate change moves to fore" - "POTSDAM, Germany: Sixty-two years after the victorious Allied leaders convened in this stately Prussian town to create the post-World War II world, 15 Nobel Prize laureates assembled here this week for another momentous task: saving the world from global warming.

It was only an academic symposium, to be sure, and none of the scholars claimed to have a master plan to eradicate the threat of climate change. Still, there was a whiff of validation, if not victory, in the air.

"The scientific findings are clear: Climate is changing, and it is a response to human activities," said Mario Molina, a Mexican-American chemist who won the Nobel Prize in 1995 for being the first to posit that chlorofluorocarbons and similar chemicals could poke a hole in the ozone layer." (IHT)

Given that serious doubts are finally being aired about the ozone farce Molin is probably the last person who should be leaping on another nonsense scare bandwagon.

"Camille Paglia on 'fancy-pants, speculative, climate models'” - "Camille Paglia is listed as one of the top 100 intellectuals in the world today, in fact she’s at number 20. So, it is with some surprise that I read her response to a question on climate change in a column on Salon.com. See page two on this link.

The computer models make predictions based on a mathematical estimate of how our planet works. All well and good. But as a TV and Radio Meteorologist who’s job its been for 25 years now to delivery timely forecasts to the public, I’d point out that my work relies on computer models every day used to forecast weather days ahead. How often are they right? Well how often is it that I nail a forecast perfectly one week in advance?

How often do you hear me telling you what the weather will be two weeks from now, or a month from now? I don’t do those things. Yet surprisingly, computer weather forecast models exist for those time periods, but they aren’t often correct. Chaos theory doesn’t lend itself well to computer modeling of weather forecasting, and it isn’t taken into account in climate modeling, which tends towards more linear processes. One of the biggest criticisms of climate models, such as NASA/James Hansens Model E, is that it doesn’t handle clouds at all well in it’s calculations.

Here’s what Camille says about climate modeling:" (Watts Up With That?)

Indoctrination and propaganda in the virtual real -- how apt: "EA And BP Collaborate To Include Climate Education In SimCity Societies" - "Electronic Arts and BP have collaborated to include climate change education within SimCity(TM) Societies, the next iteration in the genre-defining city-building franchise that has sold more than 18 million games to date. The collaboration brings together world-class game building skills and industry expertise on energy, electricity production and greenhouse gas emissions to highlight the impact of electricity generation on the emissions of carbon dioxide that are linked to climate change." (SPX)

"Why greens don’t want to ‘solve’ climate change" - "Environmentalists are cagey about techno-fixes to climate change because berating mankind for its impact on nature is their raison d'être." (James Woudhuysen, sp!ked)

'peas call to murder children's favorite: "Greenpeace urges kangaroo consumption to fight global warming" - "MORE kangaroos should be slaughtered and eaten to help save the world from global warming, environmental activists say." (Herald Sun)

The 'peas and their ilk have been instrumental in suppressing 'roo harvesting for decades but now there's more money in the call to murder Skippy (You Tube) to "save the planet".

Uh-huh... "Earth Getting Wetter and Stickier, Researchers Say" - "LONDON - Greenhouse gases are making the earth's atmosphere wetter and stickier, which may lead to more powerful hurricanes, hotter temperatures and heavier rainfall in tropical regions, British researchers reported on Wednesday." (Reuters)

... and this is how gorebull warming causes droughts, right?

Actually global atmospheric humidity has much more to do with precipitation efficiency which, in turn, is thought to be influenced by the interaction of the solar wind with intergalactic cosmic rays and particulates from industrial and agricultural activity but probably has next to nothing to do with near-surface temperatures (atmospheric water vapor condenses when forced aloft by topography or convection but eventual precipitation is inevitable). This virtual world exercise is further alleged to support gorebull warming because computer model runs without enhanced greenhouse forcing "didn't match reality" (quote from Seth Boringtheme piece) -- shame they forgot to mention that computer climate model runs don't match reality under any circumstance...

Topically, see Global Warming and Nature's Thermostat by Roy W. Spencer.

"Drought Update" - "Have you been hearing a lot about drought recently? Or maybe you’ve been hearing a lot about flooding recently? Probably depends on where you live. The map below (Figure 1) shows the current state of drought (and extreme moisture) across the United States as of a few days ago, and the map shows “Extreme Drought” in much of the American West (a pattern that extends well into Canada), “Extreme Drought” in the Southeast, but “Extreme Moist” conditions in Texas and parts of the middle of the country. Add in some record-breaking high temperatures in October in the Northeast, and the global warming crowd is once primed to blame everything you see on the dreaded build-up of greenhouse gases. This week, we even learned that the fashion industry is gearing up for a world with milder winters, orangutans are feeling the heat, presidential hopefuls are pledging to do something about the changing climate, and who knows what else?" (WCR)

"Surfacestations.org updated, now at 800 mark" - "With 421 stations surveyed, we now stand at 800 stations remaining to be surveyed. The rate of surveying slowed during the month of September, which is to be expected as people end summer vacations, start school, and other end of summer activities. I expect we’ll see it pick up in the weeks ahead as people get back to new routines." (Watts Up With That?)

"A Convenient Untruth About Climate Changes" - "It's one thing for a group of elitists to develop questionable theories about environmental issues that escape proof or disproof in the near term; however, it is quite a different thing when their unproven theories find their way into the U.S. tax code.

Enough is enough!" (E. Ralph Hostetter, NewsMax)

"Global-warming skeptics: Is it only the news media who need to chill?" - "Some who discount humans' role in altering Earth's climate point to the 'global-cooling' scare of the 1970s." (The Christian Science Monitor)

And they cite serial troll William Connolley as an expert? We have to wonder whether BAS employs him merely as keeper of the orthodoxy and actually pays him to harass anyone with doubts about the faith (he devoted significant effort to trying to intimidate a change in Y-scale on global temperature plots such that it would magnify apparent warming and is one of the reasons JunkScience.com thought it prudent to have a word on scale). He and his little coterie sent innumerable haranguing e-mails until it became obvious we would let the data speak for itself and then moved on as abruptly as they arrived. Word from others is that Connolley is a serial pest wherever AGW disaster skepticism might be expressed. It seems doubtful he could find the time to do anything actually constructive at BAS.

'Rehabilitating Carbon Dioxide' - Presentations from the Workshop

For David Archibald's Occasional Address to the Lavoisier Group's AGM, 'Failure to Warm', please click here. (The Lavoisier Group)

"Brian Fallow: Emissions bite deepens" - "Whatever the merits of the emissions trading scheme unveiled by the Government last month, saving the taxpayer money over the next five years really isn't one of them." (New Zealand Herald)

"Robert Redford is a hypocrite but still damn cool" - "In an interview with Playboy Magazine, actor and all-around cool guy Robert Redford says he drives a hybrid but - guilty pleasure alert - he enjoys speedy sports cars.

'I drive hybrid cars. I've had passive solar heating and wind generation in my Utah home since 1975. But I must say, I do like racing fast cars. It's a hypocritical, weak move on my part. But I've always loved speed. I love finding a good stretch of road and cutting loose in my Porsche. That's all I want to say about that.'" (AutoblogGreen)

"US Ethanol Rush May Harm Water Supplies - Report" - "NEW YORK - The US ethanol rush could drain drinking water supplies in parts of the country because corn -- a key source of the country's alternative fuel -- requires vast quantities of water for irrigation, the National Research Council reported on Wednesday." (Reuters)

"Tax Code Changes Are In Order To Deal With $1 Tril Energy Bill" - "Energy security and prices in the U.S. remain a paramount national issue. The need to enhance electricity supplies and distribution is evidenced time and again with strained grids and rolling blackouts every summer." (Margo Thorning, IBD)

"Chevron Says Gorgon Project Gets Australia Approval" - "SYDNEY - US energy major Chevron Corp said the Australian government has given final approval for the massive Gorgon liquefied natural gas (LNG) project, following years of delays caused by environmental concerns." (Reuters)

"Govt Snub Kills UK Coal-Fired Power Plans" - "LONDON - A new breed of clean coal fired power plants may never get built in Britain, companies say, after the government ruled them out for cash help in favour of those using another technology." (Reuters)

"CHILE: International Campaign for a Dam-Free Patagonia" - "SANTIAGO - "Patagonia is THE symbol of nature in the world," says U.S. lawyer Aaron Sanger, who is leading an international campaign against Hidroaysén, a joint venture that is planning to build five huge hydroelectric stations in the south of Chile." (IPS)

"BRAZIL: Elephant Grass for Biomass" - "RIO DE JANEIRO - Sugarcane is gradually being edged out of pole position for biofuel efficiency, as studies by the Agrobiology Centre at the state Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa) are finding that elephant grass has even greater potential." (IPS)

"Five Arrested for 50-Foot 'Green' Protest at CBOT" - "CHICAGO - Protesters draped a 50-foot banner on the Chicago Board of Trade building Wednesday, accusing agribusiness giants ADM, Bungeand Cargill of destroying rainforests to produce renewable fuels." (Reuters)

"Statist NGOs wreak havoc in Africa" - "Long after the pith helmets and starched uniforms of the colonisers have left Africa, a new breed of colonialist is emerging..." (Temba Nolutshungu, Soapbox)

"In soup-kitchen freezers, more meat from hunters" - "'Hunters for the hungry' campaign is racking up record donations of deer, wild hog, and squirrel, drawing both accolades and censure." (The Christian Science Monitor)

"How shyness and other normal human traits became sickness" - "What's wrong with being shy, and just when and how did bashfulness and other ordinary human behaviors in children and adults become psychiatric disorders treatable with powerful, potentially dangerous drugs, asks a Northwestern University scholar in a new book that already is creating waves in the mental health community." (Northwestern University)

"This is scholastic achievement?" - "From the “What are they teaching our children?” file comes another school-based childhood obesity initiative with no sound basis in science. Worse, it teaches children to fear healthful foods they need and teaches prejudices against their heavier classmates." (Junkfood Science)

"Baking cookies is now an act of civil disobedience" - "Cookies, brownies and other homemade treats are the latest victims under the guise of state officials protecting us from ourselves. Bake sales have been banned from campus at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, citing food safety concerns." (Junkfood Science)

"Nethaway: From saturated fat to global warming" - "Before doctors started meddling, I used to eat whatever tasted good.

More recently, doctors said I should substitute my favorite foods for a diet devoid of butter, animal fat, red meat or cream gravy.

Forced to look at food labels and plan a nutritious diet, I soon discovered that nearly everyone who has ever eaten food is an expert on diet and nutrition." (Waco Tribune-Herald)

"Poor Indian Labourers Happily Scrap 'Toxic' Ship" - "ALANG SHIPYARD, India - After over a year of protests by environmentalists, poor workers in west India have happily begun dismantling a controversial cruise liner, ignoring potentially serious risks to their health." (Reuters)

"Genetically engineered corn may harm stream ecosystems" - "A new study indicates that a popular type of genetically engineered corn--called Bt corn--may damage the ecology of streams draining Bt corn fields in ways that have not been previously considered by regulators. The study, which was funded by the National Science Foundation, appears in the Oct. 8 edition of The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

This study provides the first evidence that toxins from Bt corn may travel long distances in streams and may harm stream insects that serve as food for fish. These results compound concerns about the ecological impacts of Bt corn raised by previous studies showing that corn-grown toxins harm beneficial insects living in the soil." (NSF)

"Austria's Biotech Bans Back in EU Spotlight" - "BRUSSELS - Austria, one of the European Union's more sceptical countries when it comes to genetically modified (GMO) foods, may soon face a third attempt by EU regulators to force it to lift bans on two GMO maize types." (Reuters)

October 10, 2007

Latest from the interminable 'global warming' soap -- play this video clip before continuing: "Fast cuts can't halt climate change" - "SIGNIFICANT climate change may be inevitable even if the world agrees to cut emissions of greenhouse gases immediately.

The worrisome prediction comes from the final report of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, to be released next month at its meeting in Valencia, Spain.

Figures from the draft final synthesis report, obtained by The Australian, show global cuts of 50-85 per cent are needed by mid-century to contain global temperatures within 2C of pre-industrial levels.

However, Monash University climate scientist and Melbourne-based consultant Graeme Pearman said continuing change could not be avoided as concentrations of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane were rising, pushing up the global temperature and triggering changes in the world's climate system. As detailed in IPCC working group reports in April and May and synthesised in the final report, key changes that may be unstoppable include sea-level rise and acidification of the oceans, as well as increased frequency and intensity of hurricanes and droughts.

"We are at a tipping point," Dr Pearman said." (The Australian)

Oh... "Greenhouse gas emissions hit danger mark" - "SYDNEY - The global economic boom has accelerated greenhouse gas emissions to a dangerous threshold not expected for a decade and could potentially cause irreversible climate change, said one of Australia's leading scientists.

Tim Flannery, a world recognized climate change scientist and Australian of the Year in 2007, said a U.N. international climate change report due in November will show that greenhouse gases have already reached a dangerous level." (Reuters)

Actually Flim-Flannery is a paleontologist with a flair for self-promotion and writing books that exploit the apparent self-loathing of many Westerners (not to mention the ignorance and gullibility of Western media).

Is there anything new in his current claims? Apart from creative rephrasing, no there isn't. The CO2-equivalent figure he claims to be so excited about (while omitting mention of the IPCC's cited negative forcings), converted to change in forcing (deltaF) with the IPCC's simplified formula approximates to 5.35LN(455/280) = ~2.6 Wm-2. Is this new or larger? Again, no. The IPCC's  90% confidence interval that so impresses the media (despite being large enough to park an 18 wheeler in the interval), according to IPCC WGI AR4 ch 9, is deltaF 2.6 - 3.2 minus 0.5 - 2.2 Wm-2 or a net 0.4 - 2.7 Wm-2, representing the change in forcing over the last few centuries. Flimflam man's all-positive forcing claim still resides within the bounds of the IPCC's (somewhat) more realistic calculations and amounts to, well, nothing other than gullible and excitable media really.

What does this 0.4 - 2.7 Wm-2 actually mean? Well, if you use the Marvelous Magical Multipliers (a la Hansen's modeled ice age guess) then it represents 0.2 - 2.7 °C warming (figure out for yourselves how you get that from the IPCC's estimated 0.45 - 0.85 °C net warming since about 1850). If, on the other hand, you use realistic conversion factors (as in those empirically measured in the real world) then you are looking at a potential warming of 0.04 - 0.27 °C. Does that really frighten you?

"A convenient fraud now being exposed" - "A WORD of advice to the many teachers who have been scaring our children with screenings of Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth.

Be aware that a judge this month instructed British teachers showing the film to tell their pupils that Gore makes at least 11 false or unsupported claims.

I hate to think it is necessary to remind our own teachers to do likewise, but I fear the worst." (Andrew Bolt, Herald Sun)

"Science is the pursuit of the truth, not consensus" - "Michael Schrage’s comment on politics and science (September 26) struck a raw nerve: and provoked an extended response from the president of the UK’s Royal Society. Lord Rees advocates that we should base policy on something called “the scientific consensus”, while acknowledging that such consensus may be provisional.

But this proposal blurs the distinction between politics and science that Lord Rees wants to emphasise. Novelist Michael Crichton may have exaggerated when he wrote that “if it’s consensus, it’s not science, if it’s science, it’s not consensus”, but only a bit. Consensus is a political concept, not a scientific one.

Consensus finds a way through conflicting opinions and interests. Consensus is achieved when the outcome of discussion leaves everyone feeling they have been given enough of what they want. The processes of proper science could hardly be more different. The accomplished politician is a negotiator, a conciliator, finding agreement where none seemed to exist. The accomplished scientist is an original, an extremist, disrupting established patterns of thought. Good science involves perpetual, open debate, in which every objection is aired and dissents are sharpened and clarified, not smoothed over.

Often the argument will continue for ever, and should, because the objective of science is not agreement on a course of action, but the pursuit of truth. Occasionally that pursuit seems to have been successful and the matter is resolved, not by consensus, but by the exhaustion of opposition." (John Kay, Financial Times)

"Bushwhacked: Europe, Media Can’t Handle the Truth" - "A strange, almost funny thing recently happened at the State Department. This was unusual not solely because proceedings at Foggy Bottom generally prompt fits of sobbing rather than bemusement. At a gathering for his “Major Economies Meeting on Energy Security and Climate Change”, President Bush stood before the media, representatives of more than a dozen European and other nations, plus antagonists from Capitol Hill and, buried in his speech, offered long-overdue if curiously lukewarm defense of U.S. performance on greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs)." (Christopher C. Horner, Human Events)

Based on ENSO phase: "Most of U.S. Warmer Than Normal This Winter - NOAA" - "WASHINGTON - The United States will have warmer-than-normal temperatures this winter in most of the country, except for the northern Plains and Northwest states, government weather experts predicted on Tuesday." (Reuters

From the rubber-room: "Heat may kill hundreds more in NYC region by 2050" - "NEW YORK - The number of heat-related deaths in and around New York City will nearly double by 2050 - and could rise as high as 95 percent -- due to global warming if no efforts are made to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, a new study shows." (Reuters Health)

"Thinning trees may curb 'global warming'" - "Global warming enthusiasts insist our "carbon footprint" is causing climate change and thus we must eliminate it. The California Forestry Association may have an answer, or at least a program that can slow the so-called "carbon imprint" without significantly changing our lifestyle. (I'm sure our environmental groups are holding their breath in anticipation of having the people who cut trees give them ideas about curbing global warming.) The forestry people say, "cut down old growth trees for wood products, and replace them with new ones!" (Paradise Post)

Right... "Ancient African Megadroughts May Have Driven Human Evolution -- Out Of Africa" - "From 135,000 to 90,000 years ago tropical Africa had megadroughts more extreme and widespread than any previously known for that region, according to new research." (Science Daily)

but: "Migration of Early Humans From Africa Aided By Wet Weather" - "The African origin of early modern humans 200,000--150,000 years ago is now well documented, with archaeological data suggesting that a major migration from tropical east Africa to the Levant took place between 130,000 and 100,000 years ago via the presently hyper-arid Saharan-Arabian desert." (Science Daily)

"All eyes on Calif. climate-change fight" - "SAN FRANCISCO — Make big-rig trucks more aerodynamic. Allow docked ships to shut off engines and plug into electrical outlets. Require oil-change technicians to check tire pressure.

Those measures and six more that California regulators will consider this month are among early actions in what will be a long, fiercely debated and politically perilous battle against global warming.

Sleeker trucks, ships that don't idle in port and proper tire inflation don't seem earthshaking, but each would be a small step toward reaching California's ambitious goal — spelled out in its landmark 2006 law — of producing fewer greenhouse gases, which most scientists believe cause the planet to warm." (John Ritter, USA TODAY)

Excellent! "Plasma TVs facing ban" - "MOST current plasma TV models would be banned from sale in Australia as early as October next year under onerous mandatory energy requirements recommended in a report commissioned by the Federal Government.

The consulting firm Digital CEnergy, which prepared the report for the Government's Australian Greenhouse Office, also recommends a second tier of even tougher restrictions that would then ban almost all current LCD models from the market in April 2011.

The report was commissioned in response to a fact sheet released earlier this year by the Government's Equipment Energy Efficiency Committee that said TV power consumption was increasing at an alarming rate as consumers upgraded from low-power cathode-ray TVs to energy-guzzling plasma and LCD behemoths.

It found TVs were fast overtaking fridges, heaters and air-conditioners as the major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions from households." (Brisbane Times)

This is the kind of thing that could finally stir people out of their lethargy and into the fight against absurd scare stories used as thin cover for wannabe micromanagers. 'Global warming' is nothing to fear -- global warming hysterics, on the other hand...

"Boost for carbon trading auction scheme" - "Britain is to push ahead with reforms to the carbon emissions trading system - a key part of the EU's battle against climate change, Alistair Darling said yesterday.

Mr Darling said the government was planning to step up the use of the auction process in the allocation of carbon allowances which permit companies such as power generators, cement makers and steel producers, to emit given levels of carbon dioxide." (The Guardian)

"Decline of species in experts' study exposes threat of climate change" - "THE increasing threat of climate change to Scotland's wildlife and its habitats has been laid bare in the most comprehensive report on the country's biodiversity ever published.

The study from the Scottish Government, pulling together key data from various environmental agencies, points to a decline in certain species, which can be attributed at least in part to the changing environment. It shows the sea bird population is dropping at an alarming rate - with some species shrinking by 95 per cent - although numbers of terrestrial breeding birds and wintering water birds are burgeoning. " (The Scotsman)

From CO2 Science this week:

The Gospel According to Sir John: Chapter 2: More evidence that IPCC apologist John Houghton has his priorities totally backwards when it comes to protecting both man and the biosphere.

Medieval Warm Period Record of the Week:
This issue's Medieval Warm Period Record of the Week comes from the Nile River, Egypt. To access the entire Medieval Warm Period Project's database, click here.

Subject Index Summary:
Malaria: Is global warming spreading mosquito-borne diseases around the world, as Al Gore suggests in An Inconvenient Truth? We here consider the case of malaria.

Plant Growth Data:
This week we add new results (blue background) of plant growth responses to atmospheric CO2 enrichment obtained from experiments described in the peer-reviewed scientific literature for: Chinese Plamtain, Giant Knotweed, Natural Peat Communities, and Winged Elm.

Journal Reviews:
Drought on the Canadian Prairies: 1915-2002: When was it most severe and widespread? ... and why?

The Upper Colorado River Basin (USA) Super-Megadrought of the Mid-1100s: What does it imply about earth's current climatic status?

Sea-Surface Temperatures of the North Icelandic Shelf: How have they varied over the past 3000 years? ... and what are their implications?

Drought Stress Effects on Wheat and the Mitigating Effect of CO2: We describe the results of a pertinent FACE study conducted in Germany.

Impact of Elevated CO2 on Shortgrass Steppe Soil Organic Matter: Does the extra carbon taken up by plants in CO2-enriched air ultimately lead to an increase in soil carbon content?

Broken Bow, NETemperature Record of the Week:
This issue's Temperature Record of the Week is from Broken Bow, NE. During the period of most significant greenhouse gas buildup over the past century, i.e., 1930 and onward, Broken Bow's mean annual temperature has cooled by 1.56 degrees Fahrenheit. Not much global warming here! (co2science.org)

"World Steel Makers to Collect Global Climate Data" - "BERLIN - The world steel industry has agreed a global approach on climate change with voluntary collection of pollution data, world industry body International Iron and Steel Institute (IISI) said on Tuesday." (Reuters)

What's missing here? (Gus Van Horn)

"Shell Says Has Key to Clean Coal as Demand Soars" - "LONDON - Royal Dutch Shell's technology to turn coal into gas to fuel power plants could allow developing countries to meet surging energy demand without a matching rise in emissions, Shell executives said on Tuesday.

Power plants fuelled by gas made from coal using Shell's proven technology could have 9 percent lower costs than conventional coal-fired boilers if both types of generation involve carbon capture and storage, the executives said. (Reuters)

"Britons Top Table of Carbon Emissions from Planes" - "LONDON - Britons are the world's worst offenders when it comes to carbon emissions from air travel, according to figures published on Wednesday by market research company Global TGI." (Reuters)

"Green tax on passengers switched to planes" - "The government shamelessly pilfered the Conservatives' policy portfolio for a flagship green initiative yesterday, announcing plans to switch green taxes on aviation from passengers to planes in a move that will raise up to £2.5bn annually by 2010.

The new and higher duty - to take effect from November 1 2009 and bringing in an additional £100m in the first 12 months and £520m the following year - was welcomed by green groups but upset some airlines. The plan has previously been most trumpeted by the Tories." (The Guardian)

"Shipping pollution 'far more damaging than flying'" - "New research suggests that the impact of shipping on climate change has been seriously underestimated and that the industry is currently churning out greenhouse gases at nearly twice the rate of aviation.

Shipping, although traditionally thought of as environmentally friendly, is growing so fast that the pollution it creates is at least 50 per cent higher than previously thought. Maritime emissions are also set to leap by 75 per cent by 2020." (London Independent)

Quintessential Moonbat: "In this age of diamond saucepans, only a recession makes sense" - "Economic growth is a political sedative, snuffing out protest as it drives inequality. It is time we gave it up." (George Monbiot, The Guardian)

Et tu, Nature? "Egg colour indicates DDT: Poison that thins eggshells shows up in speckles." - "Collectors have long been fascinated by the colours and patterns of bird eggs. Now research has shown that these marks of beauty can also function as indicators of toxic chemicals.

Evidence has been mounting this year that egg markings are connected to the health of the birds that lay them. Studies have shown that egg speckling intensifies when mothers are calcium deficient, and that eggs develop a blue-green hue when maternal immune-system strength is compromised. These discoveries led Andrew Gosler at the University of Oxford and a team of biologists to analyse eggs exposed to DDT (dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane).

DDT was discovered to be an effective insecticide during the Second World War, with the capacity to save lives by killing disease-transmitting insects. Later, it was used in agriculture until it was found to be an environmental hazard. In 1972, DDT was banned in the United States.

One of the problems created by the chemical was the thinning of bird eggshells, causing cracking and reproductive failure. Bald eagles, peregrine falcons, California condors and many other species were brought near to extinction." (Nature)

We had hoped Nature's zealotry was limited to gorebull warming but apparently that is not the case. See DDT FAQ for references -- the DDT-eggshell thinning myth derives from crappy study control and where eggshell thinning did take place collections show it began well before the introduction of DDT (the infamous quail egg experiment was simply a case of lousy feed and could not be repeated when quails had access to a normal diet).

Support the campaign against DDT scaremongering with a DDT T-shirt!
Only available from the JunkScience.com Store

"Ghostbusters' work is never done" - "The most credible scientific information often doesn’t get published — not only is it shut out from mainstream media, as this author learned after years of effort (hence this blog, because people deserve to know the science), but it’s also blocked from professional journals — if it might go against the interests of the sponsors, an advertiser or powerful entity in the profession." (Junkfood Science)

"Antioxidants do not prevent degenerative eye disease" - "A diet rich in antioxidant vitamins and minerals does not seem to prevent the degenerative eye disease known as age related macular degeneration, finds a study published on bmj.com today." (PhysOrg)

"Discouraging fizzy drink consumption has no long term impact on childhood obesity" - "An education programme which successfully cut the level of obesity in children by teaching them about healthy eating and discouraging fizzy drinks was no longer effective three years after the intervention came to an end, according to a study published on bmj.com today." (PhysOrg)

"HRT scares 'have caused suffering for millions'" - "Millions of women are suffering the effects of the menopause unnecessarily because of unfounded health scares, experts have said.

One million women in the UK abandoned hormone replacement therapy (HRT) when two studies in 2002 and 2003 found it increased the risk of heart attacks, stroke and breast cancer.

Those studies have since been found to be flawed but thousands of women in the UK are still being denied the treatment by their GPs who remain concerned.

Experts at the International Menopause Society said the studies were deeply damaging and issued a plea to medical regulators to change their advice, which limits the use of HRT to five years, saying they were formulated as a knee-jerk reaction to the scares.

The society's statement said: "Overall the safety profile of hormone therapy until the age of 60 is favourable and should not preclude women from using hormone therapy when appropriate." (London Telegraph)

October 9, 2007

"Distribution of Nets Splits Malaria Fighters" - "Mosquito nets have the potential to save lives in malaria-plagued countries. But what is the best way to get them to those who need them most?" (New York Times)

"Obesity Paradox #13 — Take heart" - "What is most amazing is how long it has been known that body fat doesn’t cause heart disease or premature death, yet how vehemently people hold onto this belief. “The notion that body fat is a toxic substance is now firmly a part of folk wisdom: many people perversely consider eating to be a suicidal act,” wrote Dr. William Bennett, M.D., former editor of The Harvard Medical School Health Letter and author of The Dieter’s Dilemma. “Indeed, the modern belief that body fat is a mortal threat to its owner is mainly due to the fact that, for many decades, the insurance companies had the sole evidence, and if it was wrong they would presumably have had to close their doors.” That can still be said today, although the obesity interests have since grown considerably larger.

But the evidence that fatness is not especially harmful has been shown from research that dates back to the 1950s — more than a half a century ago. While many remain incredulous, the soundest body of evidence has shown, and continues to show, that being fat is not a risk factor for heart disease or a cause of premature death, even controlling for the effects of smoking or cancer." (Junkfood Science)

"Diet and Fat: A Severe Case of Mistaken Consensus" - "In 1988, the surgeon general, C. Everett Koop, proclaimed ice cream to a be public-health menace right up there with cigarettes. Alluding to his office’s famous 1964 report on the perils of smoking, Dr. Koop announced that the American diet was a problem of “comparable” magnitude, chiefly because of the high-fat foods that were causing coronary heart disease and other deadly ailments.

He introduced his report with these words: “The depth of the science base underlying its findings is even more impressive than that for tobacco and health in 1964.”

That was a ludicrous statement, as Gary Taubes demonstrates in his new book meticulously debunking diet myths, “Good Calories, Bad Calories” (Knopf, 2007). The notion that fatty foods shorten your life began as a hypothesis based on dubious assumptions and data; when scientists tried to confirm it they failed repeatedly. The evidence against Häagen-Dazs was nothing like the evidence against Marlboros.

It may seem bizarre that a surgeon general could go so wrong. After all, wasn’t it his job to express the scientific consensus? But that was the problem. Dr. Koop was expressing the consensus. He, like the architects of the federal “food pyramid” telling Americans what to eat, went wrong by listening to everyone else. He was caught in what social scientists call a cascade." (John Tierney, New York Times)

"When health officials can't see" - "A major health alert was issued across England today with more troubling evidence that children and young people are being harmed from the incessant messages to eat ‘healthy’ and watch their weight. One-third of all British teenage girls admit to being on a diet, but it’s much more serious than that may sound." (Junkfood Science)

"A Heavy Toll From Disease Fuels Suspicion and Anger" - "MIDDLEBOROUGH, Mass., Oct. 6 — The big news in this struggling southeastern Massachusetts community is a proposed $1 billion casino complex that many hope will bring financial salvation.

But for a small group of residents, the hope for economic revival is overshadowed by health concerns. They are awaiting a report later this year that could reveal whether the dozens of cases of Lou Gehrig’s disease centered around a downtown industrial area were caused by pollution.

The cases, which both state and federal officials call a disease cluster, are located within a mile of Everett Square — a densely settled neighborhood adjacent to the town’s onetime factory row. It is now home to two Superfund sites." (New York Times)

Good luck with that. Unless we're talking about say, food poisoning or perhaps infections contracted from a carrier, investigating clusters is really a waste of time, effort and everyone's hopes.

"A sense of perspective — hamburger scares" - "Across the country, scientists and their families have been stocking up on ground meat this past week. Why? Because of all the supermarket deals to be had.

It happens every time a huge food scare or food recall hits the news. The sensational media stories sound so frightening that consumers naturally react by avoiding that food altogether, just to be safe, just in case. The result is price specials for everyone else, but at the unfortunate expense of a lot of people needlessly frightened.

Haven’t you wondered why every day seems to bring more news of contaminated foods making someone sick? Every outbreak is being reported in terrifying detail. Not to downplay the people's suffering, but we’re left with a growing dread that our food supply is unsafe and that the government isn’t doing enough to keep us safe.

And that’s the point." (Junkfood Science)

"Mobile phone cancer risk 'higher for children'" - "Children should not be given mobile phones because using them for more than 10 years increases the risk of brain cancer, a leading scientist has said." (London Telegraph)

“National Security Agency of the Nanny State” - "When a parent learned what his child’s pediatrician had done during a check-up in order to comply with preventive health guidelines issued by the American Academy of Pediatrics, this scathing Op-Ed in the Boston Herald resulted. He found that children are being used to spy and report on their parents' behavior. It’s an eye-opening read." (Junkfood Science)

Here we go again: "Diet experts compare salt to a global plague" - "Americans love salt. But like so many things we love to eat in excess, such as foods prepared with saturated fats and refined sugars, eating a diet high in salt is hazardous to your health.

"Worldwide, added salt almost certainly is killing more people than AIDS, malaria, terrorism, obesity, high cholesterol and tobacco," said James J. Kenney, registered dietitian, nutrition research specialist and author of continuing-education courses for registered dietitians/nutritionists at foodandhealth.com. "Yes, we like the taste of salt, but is it to die for?" (Chicago Tribune)

"Clear-Eyed Optimists" - "The world is getting better, though no one likes to hear it." (Stephen Moore, Wall Street Journal)

A joke, hopefully: "Climate Campaigners Tipped for Nobel Peace Prize" - "OSLO - Former US Vice President Al Gore and other campaigners against climate change lead experts' choices for the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize, an award once reserved for statesmen, peacemakers and human rights activists." (Reuters)

"Al Gore, Ignoble Laureate" - "The front-runners for this year's Nobel Peace Prize are a couple of global warming alarmists. With dozens of wars raging, the committee couldn't find a single person laboring honorably for peace?

Once a symbol of distinction, this honor has plumbed shameful depths in recent years. A county fair blue ribbon has more significance. Since 1990, winners include terrorist Yasser Arafat, fraud Rigoberta Menchu, foreign-policy incompetents Jimmy Carter and Kofi Annan, unreconstructed communist Mikhail Gorbachev and the useless Mohamed ElBaradei.

Each year, the Peace Prize committee has a chance to redeem itself, yet it never seems up to the task. It looks like 2007 will be no exception. Later this week, say reports, it will name as this year's co-winners Al Gore and Sheila Watt-Cloutier, a Canadian who has drawn attention to what she believes are climate change's effects on Arctic communities.

It will be interesting to see how those two will be linked to anything resembling the promotion of peace.

Neither can meet the committee's qualifications by being "the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity among nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses."

On the contrary, Gore, Watt-Cloutier and their eco-activist allies have created a divide where none should exist. They have fostered an us-against-them world where global-warming skeptics must be subdued by the global-warming believers." (IBD)

"Court Identifies Eleven Inaccuracies in Al Gore’s ‘An Inconvenient Truth’" - "Here's something American media are virtually guaranteed to not report: a British court has determined that Al Gore's schlockumentary "An Inconvenient Truth" contains at least eleven material falsehoods." (News Busters)

"What Is Endangered: Climate or Freedom?" - "Thank you very much for the invitation to this important gathering. Thank you for giving me a chance to address this very distinguished audience." (EUportal)

"Global talks on tackling climate change creating hot air of their own" - "THE emission of hot air at international meetings designed to prevent the earth from warming is rising. Just last week, more than 80 heads of state convened in New York under the aegis of the UN to decide how to tackle climate change." (Irwin Stelzer, The Times)

Philip in full cry! Must listen audio: "A Cool Look at Global Warming" - "Lord Lawson and Professor Philip Stott at the CPS 2007 Conservative Party Fringe Event" (Centre For Policy Studies) Listen to audio

"Researcher: Global Warming Began 250 Years Ago" - "800,000 years of Siberian temperature history. Left is colder temperatures, right is warmer. Note the recent warming spike near the top of the graph. Siberian warming predates the industrial era; does the trend apply to the entire world?" (Michael Asher, Daily Tech)

"More on The Great Pacific Climate Shift and the Relationship to Temperatures and Arctic Ice" - "In a recent guest blog, John McLean explained how Australia’s CSIRO and Bureau of Meteorology (Power and Smith) respectively were reporting a period of unprecedented El Niño dominance the last 30 years, which they blamed on human activity. Last year in May it was Vecchi who told us there was a just 1% probability that this was due to natural events. On The Weather Channel blogs, meteorologist Stu Ostro, also found a similar continuity shift in weather pattern starting 30 years ago. Blog comments back to Stu and John McLean’s blog here showed how the change had precious little to do with anthropogenic factors but was a large scale cyclical climate shift known for decades as the Great Pacific Climate Shift and in more recent years as a phase change in what has come to be known as the Pacific Decadal Oscillation.

In this analysis, we show how these are simply changes resulting from multidecadal oscillations in both the Pacific and Atlantic. In addition we show how these cycles correlate extremely well with temperatures in the United States and the arctic. These cycles likely also are responsible for the recent decline in arctic ice as was previously observed in the 1930s and 1940s when arctic temperatures last peaked." (Joe D’Aleo, CCM, ICECAP)

"UD students, faculty monitor glaciers for long-haul study" - "“For the last 10,000 years, alpine glaciers in the mid latitudes in the northern hemisphere have fluctuated back and forth,” he said, “and what we're studying now are how changes in precipitation and temperatures over a span of years are affecting the larger valley glaciers in the region.”

“Everybody has heard that glaciers are retreating,” he said, “and in a general sense that's true. But understanding how much glaciers have retreated and when and how they have retreated is very difficult, and the data is very complex. In our fieldwork, we're trying to understand how glaciers vary naturally. Glaciologists have observed--just in recent history--that these systems can advance by as much as 300 meters in a very short span of years, as they did in the 1980s. So knowing how and why they do this is vital for making any sweeping predictions of climate change.”

“There are warm periods, not unlike the one we're in now, that have occurred frequently on 100-year time scales during the last 10,000 years,” O'Neal said, “and part of what we want to understand is how often they occurred and how many times in the past few thousand years glaciers retreated to their farthest extent. That is the kind of information we are trying to establish even before we try to tweak out how recent patterns of precipitation and temperature have affected glaciers in the Cascades.”" (UDaily)

D'oh! "Corals May Have Defense Against Global Warming" - "Ancient corals may have been more adaptable to changing ocean chemistry than previously thought, a new study shows." (National Geographic News)

"Global Warming Hot Enough for CNN a Second Day" - "Meteorologist points out more flaws in Gore film 'An Inconvenient Truth.'" ( Dan Gainor, Business & Media Institute)

"California Climate, PDO, LOD, and Sunspot Departure" - "Below is a paper by former California State Climatologist, Jim Goodridge. Jim has been quietly working on a number of rainfall and climate projects both for himself, and as a consultant for the California Department of Water Resources.

In this essay, Jim looks at many factors that can be linked to California’s climate. and also into something that hasn’t gotten a lot of discussion - Length of Day. It seems there may be some correlation to surface temperatures and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation. Jim also has looked at accumulated departure of solar irradiance and of sunspot numbers." (Watts Up with That?)

What, no hoot owls? "Almanac forecasters changing predictions to keep up with global warming" - "Bill O'Toole has seen a lot of changes in weather forecasting, but he expects many more. As the weather prognosticator for the Hagers-Town Town and Country Almanack for nearly 40 years, he is faced with altering long-range forecasts to suit the world's warming temperatures.

"I have had to gradually ramp the temperatures up," he said. "I am not calling for nearly as much snow as I used to."

O'Toole, of Emmitsburg, has been doing the almanac's forecasts since the 1969 edition, when he was a young college professor at what was then Mount St. Mary's College.

In the early years, he based his forecasts only on phases of the moon, which worked well some years, but not others. Then he learned about sunspots and began incorporating those into his long-range forecasts. Add into the mix the North Atlantic oscillation, El Ninos and La Ninas and forecasting became much more scientific.

The sunspots are still there, as are the El Ninos and La Ninas, but the temperature averages are inching upward -- nothing has altered the science as much as global warming, O'Toole said" (News-Post)

"Big Apple Hurricanes" - "Imagine if a large hurricane struck New York City during this tropical cyclone season – the devastation would be incredible and during and following the disastrous event, global warming would undoubtedly be blamed for the all that happened to the Big Apple. Believe it or not, this will happen sometime in the not-so-distant future, it’s a virtual lock! New York City has been struck many times in the past by tropical cyclones, and it is just a matter of time before another hurricane passes directly over the city. Officials there are fully aware of the threat, as this brochure attests, providing plenty of information about hurricane evacuation zones located throughout the metropolitan area." (WCR)

"Two Environmentalists Anger Their Brethren" - "For angry heretics on the run, Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger sure know how to enjoy themselves. Sitting in a cozy Berkeley restaurant just a few blocks from San Francisco Bay, exchanging tasting notes on the vermentino ("cold white wine is so good with fatty, fried food," Shellenberger says), they recount with perverse pleasure, in tones almost as dry as the wine, how they've been branded as infidels by fellow environmentalists. It started in 2004, when they published their first Tom Paine-style essay accusing the movement's leaders of failing to deal effectively with the global warming crisis. "We thought that someone was going to take a swing at us," Shellenberger says. Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Sierra Club executive director Carl Pope published withering counterattacks, and the two men were dubbed "the bad boys of American environmentalism" by author Bill McKibben." (Wired)

"Blinding Us With 'Science'" - "Hillary Clinton says she'll end the Bush administration's "assault on science." But causes she supports and methods she embraces are anything but scientific." (IBD)

Dangerous obsessions: "Can science really save the world?" - "Endless treaties to cut carbon emissions and halt global warming have failed to turn the tide of pollution. Now scientists want to intervene on a planetary scale, changing the very nature of our seas and skies. Ahead of a major report on 'geo-engineering' we reveal the six big ideas that could change the face of the Earth." (Robin McKie and Juliette Jowit, The Observer)

'Save the world' from what, trivial fluctuations in mean temperature? Oh puh-lease...

"High-tech solutions for climate change" - "Scientists desperate to combat climate change have drawn up high-tech plans which include firing giant mirrors into space and covering the earth in a cloud of sulphur.

In the past, such advanced schemes, known as geo-engineering projects, were considered too outrageous to be put into action — but now some scientists believe they may be our last chance to reverse the impact of climate change." (London Telegraph)

"The last green taboo: engineering the planet" - "'Geo-engineering' sounds like a bland and technical term but it is actually a Messianic movement to save the world from global warming, through dust and iron and thousands of tiny mirrors in space. It is also the last green taboo." (Johann Hari, London Independent)

"US Finally Taking Warming Seriously - Gorbachev" - "NEW ORLEANS - Much time has been lost in the fight to stop global warming, but the United States, the largest emitter of greenhouse gases, has finally begun to take the problem seriously, former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev said on Friday." (Reuters)

More Krupp: "Decade of Innovation Could Spark Climate Fix" - "NEW YORK - The explosion in interest about the threat of global warming should unleash innovations over the next 10 years that begin to cut greenhouse gas emissions and slow climate change, experts told a Reuters summit.

"Ten years from now we will see the beginning of a flowering of all sorts of new technologies that's very hard to envision today," Fred Krupp, president of New York-based Environmental Defense, told the Reuters Environment Summit this week." (Reuters)

"Why Climate Change Can't Be Stopped" - "Environmental advocates have finally managed to put the issue of global warming at the top of the world’s agenda. But the scientific, economic, and political realities may mean that their efforts are too little, too late." (Paul J. Saunders, Vaughan Turekian, Foreign Policy)

Keep 'em poor? "Carbon-heavy growth 'suicide' for India, says climate expert" - "High incomes and high carbon dioxide emissions go hand-in-hand all over the world, but the head of the globe's top scientific body on climate change says India can be different.

India is drafting a climate change strategy due next month, ahead of a key United Nations meeting in Bali, Indonesia, in December to begin talks on post-2012 emissions-cuts commitments.

"India shouldn't emulate the path that has been established by developed countries. It would be suicide for us," Rajendra K. Pachauri, chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), told AFP in an interview.

"If China and India were to follow the same pattern of development you are going to have serious conflict. Where are all the resources going to come from?"" (AFP)

"Paul Chesser: Beware of climate control" - "WASHINGTON - While the media and environmentalists regularly hammer the Bush administration for its alleged lethargy in addressing global warming, an activist group is working through individual states and substantially influencing how they will reduce their output of greenhouse gases. Taxpayers and energy consumers will take a hit to their household budgets because of it.

What’s amazing is that the states — including Maryland — are using the Center for Climate Strategies to de facto create their plans to address climate change, despite CCS’s predisposition to alarmism and the fact that the policy development process is mostly paid for by extreme environmentalist foundations." (Paul Chesser, The Examiner)

Climate Strategies Watch - Exposing stealth environmental advocacy by the Center for Climate Strategies

"Indonesia demands cash for conservation" - "Indonesia wants to be paid $US5-$US20 ($A5.50-$A22.20) per hectare not to destroy its remaining forests, the environment minister says, for the first time giving an actual figure that he wants the world's rich countries to pay." (Sydney Morning Herald)


"Prepare for Cooling, not Warming" - "The world is cooling. Global temperatures have declined since 1998 and a growing number of climate experts expect this trend to continue until at least 2030. This, happening while carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions continue to rise, is in complete contradiction to the theory of human-induced (anthropogenic) global warming (AGW). The CBC and other die-hard AGW proponents respond by publicizing selected glacial melts and the impact of dramatic but improbable sea level rises, the only warming issues that seem to grab public attention." (Dr. Tim Ball and Tom Harris, CFP)

"Chill out. Stop fighting over global warming -- here's the smart way to attack it." - "All eyes are on Greenland's melting glaciers as alarm about global warming spreads. This year, delegations of U.S. and European politicians have made pilgrimages to the fastest-moving glacier at Ilulissat, where they declare that they see climate change unfolding before their eyes.

Curiously, something that's rarely mentioned is that temperatures in Greenland were higher in 1941 than they are today. Or that melt rates around Ilulissat were faster in the early part of the past century, according to a new study. And while the delegations first fly into Kangerlussuaq, about 100 miles to the south, they all change planes to go straight to Ilulissat -- perhaps because the Kangerlussuaq glacier is inconveniently growing." (Bjorn Lomborg, Washington Post)

Good grief! "New northern ice age could send refugees to Aust" - "Australia is firming as the destination of choice for what are becoming known as climate change refugees. A new study from the Australian National University (ANU) has found that this country may not be as severely affected by a new ice age as countries in the Northern Hemisphere. ANU paleoclimatologist Timothy Barrows and his fellow researchers used a new dating technique that measures the radioactive elements in some rocks. Dr Barrows explains that Europe is at risk of a new ice age as a result of global warming" (Australian Broadcasting Corp.)

To begin with Europe's comparatively mild climate is a matter of topography and the jet stream rather than meridional overturning and secondly, you can't 'shut down the conveyor' without stopping the world's rotation and the wind system. Even climate panic-merchants have backed right away from the absurd claims of warming-driven ice ages and yet here's Australia's public broadcaster repackaging the same discredited garbage.

Hmm... "Oceans Interact to Dry Australia Further" - "SYDNEY - Interactions between major oceans, triggered by climate change, will produce increasingly dry conditions in southern parts of Australia for decades to come, projections by the country's main science organisation show." (Reuters)

Australia is just beginning to unravel some of the country's natural history and current indications are that the last century has been unusually wet. Whether this trend will continue is unknown although the trend through the century was a slight increase in rainfall.

Regarding "As it stands, the CSIRO is confidently forecasting a further 10-15 percent decline in rainfall in southeast Australia and a decline of over 20 percent in southwest Australia by 2050." current feeling in Australia is that once-great CSIRO is now a fund-raising-oriented hysteria generator that could not confidently forecast the sun rising tomorrow.

"In Inner Mongolia, Steppes are Turning to Sand" - "BAOLIGEN, China - The steppes of Inner Mongolia are arid even at the best of times, but low rainfall as world temperatures rise is turning these grasslands into sand." (Reuters)

Inner Mongolia is classified as "desert", isn't it? And periods without rain are not actually uncommon in desert regions, are they? And this has been so in warm periods and cool, no?

"Egypt Plan to Green Sahara Desert Stirs Controversy" - "CAIRO - It looks like a mirage but the lush fields of cauliflower, apricot trees and melon growing among a vast stretch of sand north of Cairo's pyramids is all too real -- proof of Egypt's determination to turn its deserts green.

While climate change and land over-use help many deserts across the world advance, Egypt is slowly greening the sand that covers almost all of its territory as it seeks to create more space for its growing population." (Reuters)

Uh-huh... "Fashion warms to reality of climate change" - "LEADING international fashion designers and industry experts say unpredictable and typically warmer weather worldwide is wreaking havoc on the industry." (The Age)

"Some Inconvenient Truths" - "Rep. John Dingell wants his colleagues to be honest about the costs of tackling global warming." (Kimberley A Strassel. Wall Street Journal)

"Voluntary, Then Mandatory Path for CO2 Scheme - Japan" - "TOKYO - Japan wants to impose mandatory caps on industrial emissions of greenhouse gases blamed for global warming, and plans to expand a voluntary scheme as a first step, its Environment Minister said on Friday." (Reuters)

"France Unlikely to Meet CO2 Emissions Target - Report" - "PARIS - France is unlikely to meet its target of a fourfold reduction in emissions of carbon dioxide by 2050, according to a report by a government-appointed commission, business daily La Tribune reported on Monday. (Reuters)

"Automakers Appeal Vermont Court Decision on Emissions" - "WASHINGTON - Major US and overseas auto manufacturers on Friday appealed a Vermont court decision that upheld a stringent vehicle emissions law and handed a victory to states trying to regulate greenhouse gases." (Reuters)

"Conergy Plans A$2 Bln Australia Wind Farm" - "SYDNEY - Conergy Germany's largest solar energy company by sales, said on Monday it plans to build a A$2 billion (US$1.8 billion) wind farm in Australia as part of a plan to expand the company's presence in Asia-Pacific." (Reuters)

"Energy plan confuses wind farm companies" - "The federal government's clean energy target - expected to replace state-based schemes by 2010 - is causing uncertainty for renewable energy providers, a company behind plans to build a $2 billion wind farm in NSW says." (Sydney Morning Herald)

"Bird Deaths Stir Oversight for US Wind Power" - "SAN FRANCISCO - The growing US wind power industry is drawing increased scrutiny from states and the federal government over the problem of spinning wind turbines killing birds." (Reuters)

"EU May Trim Biofuel Crop Cash After Extra Land Sown" - "BRUSSELS - European Union agricultural regulators are likely to reduce subsidies paid to farmers to help them grow more biofuel feedstock crops after planting rose more than expected, officials said on Monday." (Reuters)

"Green Fuels Will Save the Earth - Or Not" - "HONG KONG - The earth is too small to accommodate all the biofuels projects envisioned for the globe, and this raises doubts whether green fuels will ever play a big role in weaning the world off crude oil." (Reuters)

"More on Mercury Dangers of Gore’s Carbon Footprint Reducing Light Bulb" - "Perhaps it would be appropriate for Al Gore’s Web site to display a disclaimer warning you about the dangers of compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs), but he doesn’t." (News Busters)

"Space Based Solar Power Fuels Vision of Global Energy Security" - "BRECKENRIDGE, Colorado – The deployment of space platforms that capture sunlight for beaming down electrical power to Earth is under review by the Pentagon, as a way to offer global energy and security benefits – including the prospect of short-circuiting future resource wars between increasingly energy-starved nations.

A proposal is being vetted by U.S. military space strategists that 10 percent of the U.S. baseload of energy by 2050, perhaps sooner, could be produced by space based solar power (SBSP). Furthermore, a demonstration of the concept is being eyed to occur within the next five to seven years." (Space News)

Well, microwave transmission on this scale might at least quiet people down regarding insignificant sources like cell phone towers.

"Human urine as a safe, inexpensive fertilizer for food crops" - "Researchers in Finland are reporting successful use of an unlikely fertilizer for farm fields that is inexpensive, abundantly available, and undeniably organic -- human urine. Their report on use of urine to fertilize cabbage crops is scheduled for the Oct. 31 issue of ACS' Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry." (ACS)

"Study shows genetically engineered corn could affect aquatic ecosystems" - "A study by an Indiana University environmental science professor and several colleagues suggests a widely planted variety of genetically engineered corn has the potential to harm aquatic ecosystems. The study is being published online this week by the journal Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences." (Indiana University)

October 5, 2007

"Global Warming's Trillion-Dollar Turkey" - "A trillion dollars doesn’t buy what it used to -- at least when it comes to global warming, according to a new analysis from the Environmental Protection Agency." (Steve Milloy, FoxNews.com)

For the first time ever... Al Gore Debates Global Warming - Since former vice president and global warming activist Al Gore has so far refused to debate global warming skeptics, the debate has been brought to him. The public may now watch Al Gore make his case head-to-head against expert climatologists in the first episode of the new environmental education video series, “We Debate, You Decide,” launched by DemandDebate.com.

"Detailed Comments on An Inconvenient Truth" - "Foreword by the blog moderator:

One of the things that often happens once your blog and effort is well known is that people start sending you things to look at and/or do. That’s the case here. There has been much discussion web-wide over AIT and potential inaccuracies in the presentation by Gore, but I have not taken on the subject here in any detail since I have my www.surfacestations.org USHCN weather station census requiring a good portion of my time. Nonetheless, when I was offered this review, it seemed to be quite comprehensive in scope, and done by a person who worked in aeronautic systems engineering, a very detail oriented job that combines many disciplines. He had a thirty-three year career at Boeing, beginning as a software engineer in data reduction and flight simulation and retiring as the Chief Engineer of the Electronic Systems Division.

While AIT has been reviewed by many, I thought this review had some interesting points. Therefore, as a catalyst for discussion, here is Bob’s review of AIT with no editing nor commentary on my part:" (Watts Up With That?)

"CNN Meteorologist: ‘Definitely Some Inaccuracies’ in Gore Film" - "CNN Meteorologist Rob Marciano clapped his hands and exclaimed, "Finally," in response to a report that a British judge might ban the movie "An Inconvenient Truth" from UK schools because, according to "American Morning," "it is politically biased and contains scientific inaccuracies." (News Busters)

Looks like everyone wants to give Al a clip under the ear: "The sky is falling" - "After watching Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth," I saw that Gore, despite his monotonous tone and poor use of humor, is indeed a great persuasive speaker. But that is just it - Gore employs useless rhetoric and persuasive techniques, such as showing the image of a cute, fuzzy polar bear, to convince the world of global warming's validity, rather than sticking to the facts." (Daniel Earnest, Daily Texan)

Misanthropist-in-chief and the animal nutters... what a combination: "Gore sounds warning on warming" - "Former Vice-President-turned-environmental-crusader Al Gore aroused admiration and ire during an impassioned speech Tuesday night at the Colorado Convention Center.

Not everyone showed support for Gore, however.

Animal-activist organization PETA hired a truck to circle the convention center during Gore's speech that depicted a cartoon, beer-bellied Gore waving a chicken leg.

"Too chicken to go vegetarian?" It read. "Meat is the number one cause of global warming." (Denver Post)

What's this? Juliet Eilperin not only admits but features dissent (albeit somewhat negatively): "An Inconvenient Expert" - "MIT climatologist Richard Lindzen is pushing a controversial idea: that mankind isn't to blame for global warming and that Al Gore's apocalyptic warnings are mostly hot air. Right or wrong, why do so many people think he should be silenced?" (Juliet Eilperin, Outside Magazine)

Greenies should love it: "Chinese bid to cast one-child policy as emissions curb raises eyebrows" - "Should a country's efforts to control population growth qualify it for greenhouse gas reduction credits?

China thinks so.

Su Wei, a senior Foreign Ministry official who led China's delegation to United Nations climate talks in Vienna in August, told Reuters then Bejing's one-child policy had prevented about 300 million births since it was implemented in the late 1970s.

That amounts, he said, to 1.3 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide avoided in 2005 alone -- a calculation based on an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, which says developing countries emit about 4.2 metric tons of carbon dioxide per person per year. Xie Zhenhua, vice chairman of China's National Development and Reform Commission, echoed the claim at the National Press Club last week.

But the Chinese officials' assertions -- offered to rebut claims that China has done little to combat global warming -- have not been received warmly." (Greenwire)

"Bush Rebuffs EU, Again" - "The big question facing international climate negotiators is what will replace or follow the Kyoto Protocol when its emission reduction targets expire at the end of 2012. It can take years to negotiate a climate treaty and additional years for the requisite number of countries to ratify it. Realistically, negotiators have until late 2009 to resolve all substantive disagreements if there is to be no gap between the 2008-2012 Kyoto compliance period and the start of a new treaty." (Marlo Lewis, Cooler Heads Blog)

"LOST: Backdoor Kyoto" - "There are many serious objections to LOST, but one of the chief is that it provides a backdoor route to implementing UN environmental treaties, including the Kyoto protocol." (Myron Ebell, Cooler Heads Blog)

"Meanwhile, in Congress..." - "Congress's apparent lack of activity since coming back from the August recess threatens to be replaced by a feverish amount of activity. Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.), Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, has released his plan for a carbon tax. It would put a 50 cents a gallon tax on gasoline and a tax of 50 dollars per ton of carbon dioxide on coal, oil, and natural gas. As my more expert colleague, Marlo Lewis, reads the proposal, the gasoline tax and the carbon tax would both be levied on gasoline, so this adds up to roughly one dollar per gallon of gas." (Myron Ebell, Cooler Heads Blog)

"What's John Dingell Up To?" - "Last week (September 28), House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman John Dingell (D-MI) caused quite a stir by proposing global warming legislation that would directly and openly increase the cost of gasoline and home ownership." (Marlo Lewis, Cooler Heads Blog)

Unintended consequences: "MRS T IS NO GLOBAL WARMING ALARMIST" - "In the UK, Conservative Party spokesmen are claiming that their demands for rapid, drastic action to cut carbon emissions are congruent with Mrs Thatcher's views. This is a shaky claim at best." (Iain Murray, Cooler Heads Blog)

Thatcher may well have hoped to drive economic growth when she accepted Tickell's gift-wrapped global warming scare to bludgeon militant coal unions and justify both the expense of subsidizing the opening of North Sea oil and gas fields and maintaining a nuclear power industry to provide plutonium and other materials for the nuclear weapons program. The rest, as they say, is history and Margaret Thatcher remains a key enabler and principle villain in the misanthropic "global warming" scam.

That's another fine mess you got us into, Maggie!

Really? "Clinton Says She Would Shield Science From Politics" - "Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton’s remarks Thursday amounted to a spirited attack on President Bush for waging what she called a “war on science.” (New York Times)

The greatest assault on science in history must be the purely-political "global warming" nonsense. Does Senator Clinton mean that she would immediately veto/roll back/repeal (according to presidential powers) all moves to "fight" the phantom menace? Would she defund and dismantle the monstrous propaganda machine currently dedicated to deceiving people into thinking they are at risk from an essential trace gas?

A paltry 3 decades? "French wines gauge earth warming" - "ROUFFACH, France - On a cobweb-encrusted rafter above his giant steel grape pressers, Rene Mure is charting one of the world's most tangible barometers of global warming.

The evidence, scrawled in black ink, is the first day of the annual grape harvest for the past three decades. In 1978, it was Oct. 16. In 1998, the date was Sept. 14. This year, harvesting started Aug. 24 - the earliest ever recorded, not only in Mure's vineyards, but also in the entire Alsace wine district of northeastern France." (Washington Post)

Not even worth a mention. Here's a 63-decade grape harvest series (source) that shows variability but little in the way of trend.

Update: As I should have mentioned -- and readers have pointed out -- the early grape harvest was induce by cold, wet conditions (not a good vintage, '07 -- I'd give it a pass). -- h/t Howard W.

"Cold summer forces earliest French wine harvest on record" - "The first bunches of grapes for the manufacture of champagne will be snipped in north-eastern France today - one of the earliest wine harvests ever recorded. Despite miserable weather across much of France in June, July and August - which will greatly reduce the amount of wine produced - the 2007 vendanges, or grape-picking, will be two to three weeks ahead of the normal timetable in most of the country." (London Independent)

"Activists seek new data on mammals threatened by global warming" - "SAN FRANCISCO – Environmentalists sued the federal government Thursday for allegedly failing to adequately track populations of marine mammals threatened by global warming.

The lawsuit seeks to force the U.S. Department of the Interior to issue updated stock assessments of four protected species: polar bears, walruses, sea otters and manatees. The reports include information on a species' population, range and threats to survival." (AP)

"Salmon need help to survive climate change" - "VANCOUVER — Salmon in British Columbia will need human help to adapt to changes being brought on by global warming, but some streams may simply become uninhabitable to the cold-water fish, a government advisory body declared Thursday.

“Big changes are happening, creeping forward inexorably,” Paul LeBlond, chairman of the Pacific Fisheries Resource Conservation Council, said as he released two new reports."  (Globe and Mail)

Here's a news flash for you: not that long ago the regions where salmon currently spawn were under massive ice sheets and only "global warming" has enabled contemporary salmon runs.

Oh boy... "Global warming could cause rise in sewer bills" - "Global warming, already on the hook for declining polar bear populations, disappearing glaciers and rising sea levels, may also increase your sewer bill.

A U.S. Environmental Protection Agency climate change expert says warming temperatures over the next several decades will be accompanied by an increase in the number and severity of storms. The combination will reduce the effectiveness of scores of federally mandated sewer improvements and water treatment upgrades designed to stop almost all of the sewage pollution flowing into rivers and creeks when it rains." (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

"Global Warming Could Save Lives - Sceptic" - "OSLO - Global warming could save lives, a self-styled "Skeptical Environmentalist" said on Thursday.

Clashing with the UN health agency, Danish statistician Bjorn Lomborg told the Reuters Environment summit the world should not overlook benefits of climate change such as the fall in the number of deaths from icy winters.

"You see a lot about deaths from heatwaves, much less on avoided deaths," Lomborg said." (Reuters)

"Eco-Rebels" - "Maybe it happened the day after Hurricane Katrina or the night Al Gore won an Oscar for An Inconvenient Truth, but the first phase of the global-warming debate has ended. Even Skeptic-in-Chief George W. Bush recently convened a global-warming summit, where Condoleezza Rice told foreign diplomats that "climate change is a real problem--and human beings are contributing to it."

But the climate wars are far from over, and there are still dissidents emerging to challenge the green mainstream. Unlike past skeptics, they accept the basics of global warming but question its severity and challenge the orthodox faith that Kyoto Protocol-style mandatory carbon cuts are the best way to save the planet." (Bryan Walsh, Time)

Hooey! The actual squabble is between realists, who see no support for apocalyptic claims, and the virtual worlders and their eco-scamming cheersquad making said claims.

BS flying thicker & faster: "Counting the cost of climate change" - "Climate change will likely cost every global citizen something in the years ahead, although the payback will be much greater, policymakers, scientists and officials told a Reuters summit this week.

"I think it will be every citizen, (but) that bill may not in the end be as high for the individual as it's often made out to be," said Achim Steiner, head of the UN Environment Programme.

Not overtly spending now on the fight against climate change would still cost something, effectively borrowing from the future at the cost of future damage of widely expected extreme weather including floods, drought and sea level rise." (One News)

The only known cost is in fighting the phantom menace! No one knows whether there will be any net warming this century and no one knows whether there are any net negatives even if there were to be some.

Even using the wildly implausible estimate of Charnock and Shine for the carbon dioxide proportion of Earth's pre-industrial Revolution (call it "natural" or "background") greenhouse effect even quadrupling that carbon dioxide levels physically cannot deliver anything like the extreme scenarios postulated by greenhouse zealots.

See all the background material here. These nonsense scare scenarios simply cannot be achieved on our watery planet. Even using the IPCC's formulae with the Marvelous Magical Magnifiers built in does not produce even one-third of the temperature increase to return the planet to that most life-friendly period when the tropics expanded to mid-latitudes and the temperate zones extended to the poles, which tells us that carbon dioxide is simply not key to global mean temperature.

And more... "Climate change disaster is upon us, warns UN" - "A record number of floods, droughts and storms around the world this year amount to a climate change "mega disaster", the United Nation's emergency relief coordinator, Sir John Holmes, has warned." (The Guardian)

More Krupp: "Reuters Summit-Decade of innovation could spark climate fix" - "NEW YORK, Oct 4 - The explosion in interest about the threat of global warming should unleash innovations over the next 10 years that begin to cut greenhouse gas emissions and slow climate change, experts told a Reuters summit.

"Ten years from now we will see the beginning of a flowering of all sorts of new technologies that's very hard to envision today," Fred Krupp, president of New York-based Environmental Defense, told the Reuters Environment Summit this week." (Reuters)

What is it about some people that they just have to take that which is not broken and fix it until it is?

If only this were meant to be the joke that it is: "Climate inaction will hit output" - "SOME of Australia's biggest greenhouse polluting industries, such as coal, iron and steel, and agriculture, could see major cuts to their output by 2050 if no action is taken to contain global warming.

The findings, from the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics, show that Australia's farming productivity is likely to be 10 per cent lower, iron and steel output 6 per cent lower, and coking and thermal coal output almost 8 per cent and 5 per cent lower respectively than they would otherwise be in 2050.

"They will be vulnerable - the economy is going to be vulnerable - because of the climate change impacts," ABARE chief economist Don Gunasekera said.

The results, presented at a greenhouse conference in Sydney yesterday, are among the latest to emerge from a continuing calculation of the costs of climate change to the Australian economy. John Howard has used ABARE's earlier studies into the subject to argue against binding international targets for emissions cuts, arguing for Australia's right to set its own "aspirational" ones.

Last year, ABARE said the nation's gross domestic product could fall by about 10 per cent, and its real wages by about 20 per cent, under the deepest-cut scenario modelled.

But Dr Gunasekera said the bureau's analysis last year was not comparable with its latest findings and should not be used to forestall action to cut emissions.

"There's an admission all over the world that climate change is real, it's happening," Dr Gunasekera said. "Rather than trying to compare the cost of inaction with the cost of action, let's get on with it." (The Australian)

Built on what are really quite absurd 'story lines' and woeful climate model output we should pretend there will be costs from catastrophic warming (which has no real world prospect of occurring) we should ignore and simply accept the real costs of fighting the phantom menace to avoid imaginary costs somewhere down track? This game gets sillier by the minute.

"World Climate Deal Faces Hurdles for '09 Deadline" - "OSLO - A growing sense of urgency is pushing world leaders to agree a new treaty to fight climate change but the US presidential election might still foil hopes of a deal by the end of 2009, experts told a Reuters summit." (Reuters)

Down under, the Hummer is a girlie-car: "Hummer a hit with women, but not environment" - "THE Hummer, the humungous, petrol-guzzling off-roader modelled on a US military vehicle, will soon be invading a street near you - and don't be surprised if the person behind the wheel is a woman." (The Australian)

"Clean energy can't meet growing demand" - "Demand for renewable energy is outstripping supply, pushing up prices and raising the specter that some states may not meet clean-energy mandates.

Behind the shortage are the growing number of states requiring utilities to include clean energy in their power mix, as well as surging demand from big businesses.

By 2010, clean-energy demand will outpace generation by at least 37% unless a rush of projects is built, says a report due out next week from the National Renewable Energy Lab. (Paul Davidson, USA TODAY)

"Report Challenges EU Subsidies for Biofuels" - "BRUSSELS - The European Union's support for biofuels may not be the most cost-effective way for the 27-country bloc to tackle climate change, a new study has concluded." (IPS)

"Biofuel Bandwagon Slows as Feedstock Prices Surge" - "LONDON - The biofuels bandwagon may be running out of gas with soaring costs for feedstocks like wheat and palm oil prompting producers to shelve planned plants and cut output at existing facilities." (Reuters)

"More Doctors in Texas After Malpractice Caps" - "After Texas limited awards in medical malpractice lawsuits, doctors arrived from all over the country." (New York Times)

"Fats, meat unlikely to impact prostate cancer risk" - "NEW YORK - New data from a large ethnically diverse group of men provides no evidence that eating a lot of fats and meat substantially affects a man's risk of developing prostate cancer." (Reuters Health)

"Eat fish while pregnant, U.S. experts recommend" - "WASHINGTON - Pregnant and breast-feeding women should eat at least 12 ounces (340 grams) of fish or other seafood a week because the benefits for infant brain development outweigh any worries about mercury contamination, a group of U.S. experts said on Thursday.

The recommendations contradict U.S. government warnings that these women should consume no more than 12 ounces of fish and other seafood weekly due to concerns that mercury -- which can harm the nervous system of fetuses -- might exist in trace amounts in this food.

But the group of 14 obstetricians and nutritionists said the threat of mercury poisoning remains only theoretical, while the warnings have scared many pregnant women into not eating fish at all, robbing them and their babies of vital nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids, known to help brain development." (Reuters Life!)

"It’s better to die of HIV than be fat?" - "Whenever you hear news about a presentation made at a meeting or conference, it is best to take it with a grain of salt. Wait until the research is actually published — and its methodology, data and findings are available for scrutiny — before taking it seriously. (You’ll quickly find that few studies presented at meetings are good enough to ever go on to be published in journals.) The media isn’t able to verify the study claims, either. In fact, invariably, the media stories are all identical and come out on exactly the same day, because they came from the same press release embargoed for that date, meaning they’re marketing.

Press releases do not make for sound science, which is why very few studies issued to the media at meetings are reported at Junkfood Science. We’re making an exception today." (Junkfood Science)

"Salmonid hatcheries cause 'stunning' loss of reproduction" - "The rearing of steelhead trout in hatcheries causes a dramatic and unexpectedly fast drop in their ability to reproduce in the wild, a new Oregon State University study shows, and raises serious questions about the wisdom of historic hatchery practices." (Oregon State University)

"U.S. corn yields soar thanks to stellar genetics" - "CHICAGO, Oct 4 - Stellar genetics and favorable weather are boosting corn yields to unheard of levels this harvest season in the United States, agronomists and grains analysts said on Thursday.

"Yields this year are phenomenal, especially in Central Illinois which is a big corn-producing area. We've had adequate weather but nothing fantastic and we have some amazing genetics," said Dennis Bowman, an extension agronomist for the University of Illinois.

Illinois and Iowa annually rank one and two in total corn and soybean production in the United States.

Corn and energy traders are beginning to pencil in a mammoth, record large U.S. corn crop for 2007 due to huge corn acreage, overall satisfactory weather and high-tech farm management practices including planting of exotic corn hybrids called triple-stacked or genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

The controversial GMO corn is "not cleared for export but with so much demand now for ethanol they're using it and next year Syngenta is coming out with a quad-stack," Bowman said." (Reuters)

October 4, 2007

"Tanzania for indoor DDT spraying next year in fight against malaria" - "Minister for Health and Social Welfare, Prof David Mwakyusa said yesterday that the country starts indoor spraying of DDT insecticides against mosquitoes early next year in the drive to control malaria." (AFM)

Unfortunately a significant section of the populace will be frightened by such irresponsible scare mongering as this: "New Evidence Links Breast Cancer to Pesticide DDT" - "OAKLAND, Calif., Oct. 2 -- At a time when the pesticide DDT is once again being promoted to combat malaria, researchers have found new evidence linking DDT to breast cancer, according to a study to be published in the scientific journal "Environmental Health Perspectives."

Entitled "DDT and Breast Cancer in Young Women: New Data on the Significance of Age at Exposure," the study will be printed in October's edition of this peer-reviewed journal." (AScribe Newswire)

Do their handful of cases provide Earth-shattering new data? Of course not -- at least a third of the world's population was exposed to relatively high levels of DDT from the mid 1940s to the 1970s without precipitating abnormal cancer incidence or mortality (children literally doused in DDT to contain typhus epidemics in the mid-1940s are now in their 70s and 80s without exhibiting high rates of breast cancer).

The silly piece even manages to reiterate the old falsehoods about DDT and eggshell thinning -- see DDT FAQ.

"Science by press release" - "Every few months brings another news story telling fat pregnant women that they need to lose weight so they don’t contribute to the ‘obesity epidemic’ or have fat babies. With so many press releases coming out all saying the same thing — especially when they come from the same sources and quote the very same researchers — women and their loved ones need to know that they’re seeing marketing, not science.

Basing any health decision on media marketing can not only put a mother’s health and welfare in jeopardy, but her baby’s, too." (Junkfood Science)

Really? "Pollution kills up to 25,000 Canadians yearly: Study" - "Pollution is killing up to 25,000 Canadians every year and it's costing the health-care system up to $9.1 billion. Those are among the findings of a just-released study led by David Boyd, an environmental lawyer and the Trudeau Scholar at the University of B.C." (Clare Ogilvie, The Province)

Where are the bodies? And why is Canadian longevity (total population life expectancy at birth) 80.34 years (2007 estimate)? Canadian death rate is a lowly 7.86 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.), infant mortality is just 4.63 deaths/1,000 live births and birth rate is 10.75 births/1,000 population (2007 est.) so said "pollution" doesn't appear to be harming the populace too much, does it?

While it is easy to come up with scary numbers like 10-25 thousand deaths it's really quite meaningless considering one in 80 Canadians can be expected to die of plain old age every year and amongst 33 million plus population you can expect more than 410,000 mortalities (although the death rate indicates the current annual figure to be about 260,000 because there was a smaller population base when life spans began increasing).

So, the Canadians have a technical shortage of mortalities and Boyd concludes "pollution" is killing them off. Here's a clue for you Dave, Canadians seem a pretty healthy bunch on the numbers so, don't worry about it, eh?

"Researchers Discover Link Between Schizophrenia, Autism and Maternal Flu" - "A team of California Institute of Technology researchers has found an unexpected link connecting schizophrenia and autism to the importance of covering your mouth whenever you sneeze." (Caltech)

"Herbal medicine 'risks harmful side-effects'" - "Vulnerable patients are being duped into taking herbal medicines that could be dangerous, scientists have warned.

A review concluded that there is little evidence that individually tailored herbal medicines are effective but that there is a significant risk of harmful side-effects." (London Telegraph)

People wising up at last? "Green charities lose out as donors ignore environmental issues" - "Despite growing concern for the state of the environment from Government and the public alike, only a tiny proportion of donations to charities go towards green causes, a report has revealed. Less than 2 per cent of UK charitable grants go towards environmental concerns, and only 5 per cent of the £8bn donated annually by private individuals goes to green charities." (London Independent)

Bottom line: Don't feed the misanthropists!

"Nine Roads Through the Virgin Wilderness" - "BARILOCHE, Argentina - In the name of development and integration, roads, bridges, dams, gas pipelines, ports and other infrastructure works are expanding in South America. But many of the projects are trampling roughshod over protected areas that preserve unique ecosystems and vulnerable native cultures." (IPS)

Gosh! People chose development? Well, blimey...

"US plan to protect owl 'polluted by politics': lawmakers" - "US Democratic lawmakers have accused the Bush administration of "polluting" a plan to protect an endangered owl species and make it more favorable to the timber industry, while scientists have rejected the plan as seriously flawed.

In separate letters sent Tuesday to Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne, 113 scientists and 23 lawmakers said the draft plan to protect the northern spotted owl distorted scientific studies to justify logging in old-growth forests, and alleged that it had been "politicized" by Interior Department officials.

"There's very clear evidence that this recovery plan was polluted by tainted politics," Jay Inslee, a Democratic lawmaker from Washington state, one of three states concerned by the plan, told AFP." (AFP)

That clear evidence being that it doesn't say what the Democrats insist it must?

"MoveOn Cracks Down On Critics" - "MoveOn.org, the left-wing extremists who bashed the commander of American forces in Iraq as a traitor, should get out of the political kitchen.

The George Soros-funded hitmen can't stand even a bit of heat from mom-and-pop retailers who tried selling T-shirts and mugs on the Internet critical of the "General Betray Us" smear ads against Gen. David Petraeus.

I heard from one of the independent T-shirt sellers targeted by MoveOn.org last week. The seller is a lifelong Democrat and member of the military. Incensed by the attack on Gen. Petraeus, the retailer opened up a shop at online store CafePress. (Michelle Malkin, IBD)

Should be obligatory reading for all politicians: "It’s Tires, Not Global Warming" - "PARIS - A World Health Organization official has claimed that the current chikungunya outbreak in Northern Italy is the result of climate change: this widely reported absurdity undermines rational debate at a time when world leaders were negotiating climate policy in New York and Washington.

Not far from Graceland, Elvis Presley's home, is a quiet cemetery that dates back to the American Civil War. In the middle is a large mound like a megalithic tomb and underneath are the bones of more than 6,000 people who died in the terrible Yellow Fever epidemic in 1878.

More than 20,000 people were infected in Memphis alone, and more than 120,000 throughout the United States, as far north as Ohio.

The virus and the mosquito that transmitted it were first imported from Africa in the 17th century. The mosquito bred in shipboard barrels of water.

The virus circulated among the slaves. Many died. The mosquito is now present from South Carolina to Buenos Aires and it remained a scourge in many cities until the advent of DDT - although it still lurks in the rainforests of South America.

... So the globalization of mosquitoes and mosquito-borne diseases is nothing new and we can expect further surprises in the future. There is also nothing new about mosquito-borne disease in Europe.

Until DDT, malaria was endemic and common in many regions as far north as Russia, with 13 million cases a year in the 1920s: at Archangel, on the edge of the Arctic Circle, 10,000 people died in one year.

In Italy the highest incidence was in the Po valley, in exactly the same area now hit by chikungunya. Dengue, another so-called tropical virus, infected 1,000,000 people in Greece in the 1920s.

Despite all this, a WHO official has claimed that warming allowed this cold-weather mosquito to settle in Italy. Whether this is ignorance or deliberate misinformation, it diverts attention from the real cause: the increasing globalization of disease as a result of modern transportation." (Paul Reiter, Korea Times)

UK court rules against Al Gore: Schools must warn of Gore climate film bias - "Schools will have to issue a warning before they show pupils Al Gore's controversial film about global warming, a judge indicated yesterday. The move follows a High Court action by a father who accused the Government of 'brainwashing' children with propaganda by showing it in the classroom. " (Daily Mail)

... yet another reason to watch...
"The Great Global Warming Swindle"!

"Al Gore Getting Rich Spreading Global Warming Hysteria With Media’s Help" - "Americans willing to look at the manmade global warming debate with any degree of impartiality and honesty are well aware that those spreading the hysteria have made a lot of money doing so, and stand to gain much more if governments mandate carbon dioxide emissions reductions." (News Busters)

Today's "So what?" "Ozone hole has shrunk by nearly a third: European Space Agency" - "The ozone hole over Antarctica shrank by 30 percent this year compared with the record loss recorded in 2006, the European Space Agency (ESA) said on Wednesday." (AFP)

So, Al, had to wrestle any blind Patagonian Sheep lately? (We suspect he probably goes to sleep counting them -- or the money raked in from his warming shtick.)

"Newsweek: Global-Warming Skeptics Are Like Moon-Landing Deniers" - "Magazine's Senior Editor dismisses 'fairness/accuracy/balance' in climate change reporting because deniers lack 'empirical merit.'" (Jeff Poor, Business & Media Institute)

"Newsweek's 'Hoax' Cover Story Raises Ire of Deniers, ... and also Criticism from Within" (Bill Dawson, Yale Forum on Climate Change & The Media)

"Climate warming skeptics: Is the research too political?" - "Some say findings of human-caused global warming say more about politics than about science." (The Christian Science Monitor)

"Ignore Pacific Climate Shift - Just Blame Humans" - "Hardly a day goes by without a new claim about a human influence on climate. In the last 18 months we’ve been told, not once but three times, that the air circulation across the tropical Pacific is slowing down and it’s all our fault.

The problem is that the scientific papers making those claims have somehow managed to completely ignore the Great Pacific Climate Shift of 1976 despite this being well-known to climatologists. The changes caused by that climate shift can account for the altered circulation pattern. Despite what the three papers say we don’t need to include any human influence." (John McLean, Icecap)

D'oh! "A Swiftly Melting Planet" - "THE Arctic ice cap melted this summer at a shocking pace, disappearing at a far higher rate than predicted by even the most pessimistic experts in global warming. But we shouldn’t be shocked, because scientists have long known that major features of earth’s interlinked climate system of air and water can change abruptly.

A big reason such change happens is feedback — not the feedback that you’d like to give your boss, but the feedback that creates a vicious circle. This type of feedback in our global climate could determine humankind’s future prosperity and even survival." (Thomas Homer-Dixon)

Actually Homer, Springfield is safe and so is the planet's cryosphere.

"Recent Rapid Decline in Sea Ice caused by Unusual Winds, says NASA" - "A few of our commentators on this blog found this story earlier today and I thank them.

Anyway, in a news release from NASA Monday, a group of scientists have determined that unusual winds caused the rapid decline (23% loss) in winter perennial ice over the past two years in the northern hemisphere. This drastic reduction is the primary cause of this summer's fastest-ever sea ice retreat in recorded history which has lead to the smallest extent of total Arctic coverage on record.

According to the NASA study, the perennial ice shrunk by an area the size of Texas and California combined between the winter of 2005 and the winter of 2007. What they found was the Arctic Ocean north of Siberia and Alaska was dominated by thinner seasonal ice that melts faster compared to the thicker ice confined to the Arctic Ocean north of Canada. The thinner ice is more easily compressed and responds more quickly to being pushed out of the Arctic by winds.

"Unusual atmospheric conditions set up wind patterns that compressed the sea ice, loaded it into the Transpolar Drift Stream and then sped its flow out of the Arctic," said Son Nghiem of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and leader of the study. When that sea ice reached lower latitudes, it rapidly melted in the warmer waters.

What about these unusual wind patterns. Well, the article does not go into that too much, but I must believe some of this is due to changes in the Arctic Oscillation (AO) and the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) which are large atmospheric circulations which have major impacts on the weather in certain parts of the world." (AccuWeather)

"Arctic Sea ice loss - “its the wind” says NASA" - "A science blogger named Tamino, in a post he made here, challenged me to “explain it or shut up” related to the loss of northern hemisphere Arctic ice this season which he claimed was …” undeniable, that it’s not natural variation” in contrast to the southern hemisphere Antarctic setting a new record for ice extent. While I suspect that sea ice is not his specialty, nor is it mine, I will bring some things to the attention of my readers available from literature." (Watts Up With That?)

Note the new site.

Not sure if this is an article or a UN job application from India’s former Foreign Secretary: "The Earth Will Survive, The Human Race May Well Perish" - "As the issue of climate change becomes an ever greater source of anxiety throughout the world, advocacy groups have pushed hard for the UN to step up its efforts to halt the rush towards environmental disaster. The Secretary-General has tried to take an initiative at the current session of the General Assembly, for the UN’s role is crucial and the essential international instruments aimed at remedial action were devised under UN auspices.

The main agreement is the Kyoto Protocol, which was hailed as a big step forward when it came into being but soon lost its effectiveness owing to President Bush’s decision to withdraw. The Kyoto Protocol, with all its virtues and insufficiencies, is due to expire in 2012 and the task of replacing it with something more useful has already begun to command attention. Meanwhile, the evidence about global warming continues to accumulate, with a spate of alarming stories about where it could be leading." (Salman Haidar, The Statesman)

Um... "UN best forum for addressing climate change" - "The world appears to have arrived, grudgingly in some cases, at a consensus that climate change is a serious environmental threat and the global policy-making machine has slowly started creaking into gear. Various initiatives are picking up speed on multiple tracks." (Jutta Brunee, Financial Post)

... looks to us more like fear profiteers, activists and sensationalist media have managed to mislead the populace because the science is unequivocal -- no amount of carbon constraint will make a measurable difference in global mean temperature, regardless of whether that would actually be a good thing to do or not.

"Environmental Effects of Increased Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide" (.pdf) - "ABSTRACT: A review of the research literature concerning the environmental consequences of increased levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide leads to the conclusion that increases during the 20th and early 21st centuries have produced no deleterious effects upon Earth’s weather and climate. Increased carbon dioxide has, however, markedly in creased plant growth. Predictions of harmful climatic effects due to future increases in hydrocarbon use and minor greenhouse gases like CO2 do not conform to current experimental knowledge. The environmental effects of rapid expansion of the nuclear and hydrocarbon energy industries are discussed." (Arthur B. Robinson, Noah E. Robinson, And Willie Soon, Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons (2007) 12, 79-90)

"Sun still main force in climate change" - "Rebuts widely publicized study this summer by UK scientists." (WND)

Funny: "Even Tougher Warming Curbs May be Needed" - "LONDON - Governments may need to step up the fight against global warming to a level beyond even the toughest existing goals to help safeguard the planet, the head of the UN climate panel said on Wednesday." (Reuters)

Even if humans stopped all fossil fuel use there would be no measurable difference in global mean temperature. Silly as it gets.

Stupid... "Polar Bear Endangered Status 'Likely'" - "LONDON - An accelerating melt of Arctic sea ice is likely to make the polar bear officially "endangered" in the very near future, the head of a global wildlife conservation network on Wednesday." (Reuters)

... polar bear numbers are the highest ever counted -- making them endangered...

"Countless Exaggerations in Climate Change Report" - "In the new Climate Change in Australia report the predictable catastrophic scenarios are outlined. The report, done jointly by CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology is very surprising, and it would seen that the Bureau of Meteorology haven't bothered to look at their own stats to come to the reports conclusions." (Gust of Hot Air)

"Australian Fires Add to Fears on Climate Change" - "As the first bush fires of the year rage through Australia’s national forests, concern over climate change and its effects is intensifying." (New York Times)

No, this is just another example of media hysteria and urbanite-disconnect from the land in which we live. Townies need a lesson from Dorothea Mackellar (1885 - 1968)

Eye-roller, whether he was misquoted or not: "Australia 'in danger' from climate change refugees" - "Australia must populate its undeveloped tropical north or face invasion by Asian refugees driven south by climate change, an outspoken Government MP has warned.

Senator Bill Heffernan's doomsday scenario echoes the post-war cry of "populate or perish", when Australia feared it would be vulnerable to Asian incursions unless it dramatically increased its population through immigration from Europe. "We're not talking tomorrow, but in 50 to 80 years time," he told the Bulletin. "If there are 400 million people who have run out of water - Bangladesh or Indonesia - well, if you want to protect your sovereignty, you've got to have a plan."

Northern Australia is a sparsely settled region of cattle ranches, vast national parks and Aboriginal reserves. The only towns of any size are Darwin in the Northern Territory and Cairns and Townsville in Queensland." (New Zealand Herald)

"Heffernan disputes climate change quotes" - "The Bulletin magazine is standing by a controversial article in which Liberal senator Bill Heffernan warned climate change would lead to a possible invasion of Australia by Asians looking for water.

Senator Heffernan is disputing quotes attributed to him, saying he was much more concerned by the threat of diseases like foot and mouth rather than Indonesians and Bangladeshis." (AAP)

"Japan: Gas emission reduction steps to be reassessed as Kyoto deadline looms" - "The government will reassess by March its steps to counter global warming so it can come closer to attaining its greenhouse gas emission reduction goals under the Kyoto Protocol, officials said Tuesday." (Kyodo News)

"The truth about carbon markets" - "As the Kyoto Protocol reaches its final leg, it is increasingly clear that no successor agreement can be successful without India and China taking the lead. Until the G8 summit at Heiligendamm this June, the role of China and India in climate change was primarily seen in terms of their potential contribution to the volume of certified- emission-reduction credits (CERs) from clean development mechanism (CDM) projects." (Times of India)

"Forests could capture and store gases" - "UP to two-thirds of Australia's greenhouse emissions could be captured and stored in a nation-building campaign to plant millions of native trees and shrubs over the next 50 years, according to the chief scientist.

Jim Peacock yesterday revealed his vision for a campaign promoting planting from school yards to vast tracks of savannah across northern Australia to help cut greenhouse emissions." (The Australian)

But there is no known purpose for doing so.

"Brazil Urges World Support for Amazon" - "BRASILIA - Brazil's environment minister said on Wednesday the international community was failing to honor pledges to help protect the Amazon and other tropical forests but that her government rejected specific deforestation targets." (Reuters)

Finally, some rational commentary: "Despite Warming, Ships to Shun Northwest Passage" - "OTTAWA - While there has been much talk that Arctic trade routes will open up as northern ice melts, shipping companies and experts say using the fabled Northwest Passage through Canada's Arctic archipelago would be too difficult, too dangerous and totally impractical." (Reuters)

"Coal is 'Whipping Boy' for Greens - Exec" - "NEW YORK - The coal industry has become the "whipping boy" of environmentalists who fail to come up with realistic alternatives for energy, the head of one of America's biggest coal producers said." (Reuters)

"Florida Gov. Might Allow New Coal Power Plants" - "NEW YORK - Florida's Gov. Charlie Crist said he does not want new coal power plants built in his state because of their greenhouse gas emissions, but stopped short of ruling out new plants fired by the fuel." (Reuters)

"Green Doesn't Mean Sacrificing US Lifestyle - Crist" - "MIAMI - Americans do not need to pare back their lifestyles to help protect the global environment but may need to use sugar or orange peel to power their energy-guzzling Hummers and Cigarette boats, Florida's governor said Tuesday." (Reuters)

Well Charlie, it sure doesn't mean doing it any good.

"Nuclear Power's New Dawn" - "Nuclear power's rise to popularity hasn't been a smooth ride. For countries that supply the world's uranium, heightened demand has stirred up old battles over land and environment" (Epoch Times)

"EPA Asked to Regulate Ship Emissions" - "SAN FRANCISCO -- Environmental groups and California Attorney General Jerry Brown asked the federal government Wednesday to require oceangoing ships to limit emissions of heat-trapping gases blamed for global warming.

Brown and the groups separately asked the Environmental Protection Agency to adopt standards for carbon dioxide output from the thousands of cargo ships, cruise liners and other large vessels that dock at American ports each year." (AP)

Uh-huh... why not just let 'em keep using high sulfur bunker fuels (you know, the ones that emit cooling sulfates and prevent the planet warming as models promised but the world couldn't deliver).

Just say "No!" "EPA on track to act on California emissions waiver" - "WASHINGTON - The Environmental Protection Agency is on track to decide by year's end whether to let California set its own stricter vehicle emissions standards to fight global warming, but will not meet the state's demand for a decision this month, EPA's chief said on Wednesday." (Reuters)

"Ethanol Produces More Greenhouse Gas than Fossil Fuels!" - "It is now almost universally accepted in some circles that bio-fuels such as ethanol are the answer to America’s energy woes. Additionally, many ethanol enthusiasts have said that use of ethanol rather than fossil fuels will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions which global warming adherents believe may cause climate change. Yet, a new study conducted at University of Edinburgh concludes that ethanol actually produces substantially more greenhouse gas than fossil fuels." (George C. Landrith, Opinion Editorials)

"Bulb brilliance at Wal-Mart as CFLs go mainstream" - "One of the biggest hurdles to widespread approval of the energy-efficient light bulbs is price, and the big-box company is working on that." (The Christian Science Monitor)

What a quandary for anti-capitalist greenies: the big-box store they love to hate is promoting the bulbs they'd love to mandate.

"Scientists Are Making Brazil’s Savannah Bloom" - "Brazil is today the world’s top exporter of soybeans and beef. How has it become an agricultural superpower?" (New York Times)

"EU Environment Chief Faces GMO Hot Potato" - "BRUSSELS - Europe's environment chief faces a showdown this month with his colleagues in the EU's executive Commission over biotech foods and crops, officials say." (Reuters)

"Korea, Germany bio-engineers to cooperate in improved rice development" - "Korean and Germany bio-engineers have agreed to work together to develop an improved rice plant that has better yield and will be more resilient to pests and disease, the government said Thursday (Oct. 4)." (Korea.net)

October 3, 2007

"Cap-and-trade fraud: Proponents misunderstand the dynamic marketplace" - "In response to the global warming consensus, political momentum is building to cap greenhouse-gas emissions (GHGs), subdivide the cap into smaller parts (or emissions allowances similar to rationing coupons), and distribute the emissions allowances, either by auction or on a no-cost basis to businesses that emit greenhouse gases.

Businesses wishing to emit GHGs beyond their specific allowances would be able to purchase rights to do so from owners of surplus emission allowances. GHGs include carbon dioxide from combustion of fossil fuels and methane and nitrous oxide from agriculture and food-production activities.

These policies are commonly referred to as "cap-and-trade" regulations. The costs of reducing GHGs through cap-and-trade regulations are not trivial. If implemented, cap-and-trade policies would add significant costs to production and would likely have a severe negative impact on long-term U.S. growth, an amount we estimate at US$10,800 per family." (Arthur Laffer And Wayne Winegarden, Financial Post) (.pdf version)

Cap-and-trade like Soviet-style central planning

"How Hot IS It? The records tell unsettling tales." - "By anybody’s definition, Tucson, Arizona, is a warm place. The question of just how warm started attracting special attention about 20 years ago when the government’s official climate-monitoring station began racking up a series of daily record high temperatures, with a greater number of new records set each year.

Tucson observed 21 new record daily highs in 1986 and 23 in 1987. For 1988, the number climbed again, to 38 record highs, and it jumped to 59 the following year. Remarkably, in 1988 and ’89 all but one of these milestones were achieved on days when no other station within a thousand miles set a record of its own.

The growing pile of record daily highs from the National Weather Service (NWS) office at Tucson International Airport—and the absence of corresponding new records from Davis-Monthan Air Force Base on very similar terrain just three miles away—suggested a problem with NWS monitoring equipment, specifically with a device called the HO-83 hygrothermometer, newly installed at the airport in 1986." (Wisconsin Energy Cooperative News)

Please tell us education has not collapsed to the point anyone will fall for this: "American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment" - "We, the undersigned presidents and chancellors of colleges and universities, are deeply concerned about the unprecedented scale and speed of global warming and its potential for large-scale, adverse health, social, economic and ecological effects. We recognize the scientific consensus that global warming is real and is largely being caused by humans. We further recognize the need to reduce the global emission of greenhouse gases by 80% by mid-century at the latest, in order to avert the worst impacts of global warming and to reestablish the more stable climatic conditions that have made human progress over the last 10,000 years possible." (Second Nature)

"Antarctic Sea Ice Undergoes Massive Meltdown In Less Than Two Weeks" - "According to New York Times reporter Andrew Revkin, that is. In today’s Science section, Revkin writes that “there has been a slight increase in sea-ice area around Antarctica in recent decades.” But in a Sept. 21 article, “Scientists Report Severe Retreat of Arctic Ice”, he reported that “sea ice around Antarctica has seen unusual winter expansions recently, and this week is near a record high.”

So if in the space of eleven days Antarctic sea ice has gone from a near-record high to only a slight increase, that indicates massive recent melting, doesn’t it?

How did Revkin miss this? Perhaps because he’s been focusing on the melting of Arctic sea ice." (Sam Kazman, Cooler Heads Blog)

"Record SH sea ice maximum and NH sea ice minimum" - "UPDATE: Monday, October 1, 2007 -- Just when you thought this season's cryosphere couldn't be more strange .... The Southern Hemisphere sea ice area narrowly surpassed the previous historic maximum of 16.03 million sq. km to 16.17 million sq. km. The observed sea ice record in the Southern Hemisphere (1979-present) is not as long as the Northern Hemisphere. Prior to the satellite era, direct observations of the SH sea ice edge were sporadic." (Cryosphere Today)

Antarctic temperatures disagree with climate model predictions - COLUMBUS , Ohio – A new report on climate over the world's southernmost continent shows that temperatures during the late 20th century did not climb as had been predicted by many global climate models.

This comes soon after the latest report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that strongly supports the conclusion that the Earth's climate as a whole is warming, largely due to human activity.

It also follows a similar finding from last summer by the same research group that showed no increase in precipitation over Antarctica in the last 50 years. Most models predict that both precipitation and temperature will increase over Antarctica with a warming of the planet. (Ohio State University)

You have to love the disclaimers and obligatory support for AGW: "It isn't surprising that these models are not doing as well in these remote parts of the world. These are global models and shouldn't be expected to be equally exact for all locations," he said.

So, how well do these global models reflect global climate? Really badly, in that they only fit where they touch and then not at all well:

Principal Model Deficiencies

ModelE [2006] compares the atmospheric model climatology with observations. Model shortcomings include ~25% regional deficiency of summer stratus cloud cover off the west coast of the continents with resulting excessive absorption of solar radiation by as much as 50 W/m2, deficiency in absorbed solar radiation and net radiation over other tropical regions by typically 20 W/m2, sea level pressure too high by 4-8 hPa in the winter in the Arctic and 2-4 hPa too low in all seasons in the tropics, ~20% deficiency of rainfall over the Amazon basin, ~25% deficiency in summer cloud cover in the western United States and central Asia with a corresponding ~5°C excessive summer warmth in these regions. In addition to the inaccuracies in the simulated climatology, another shortcoming of the atmospheric model for climate change studies is the absence of a gravity wave representation, as noted above, which may affect the nature of interactions between the troposphere and stratosphere. The stratospheric variability is less than observed, as shown by analysis of the present 20-layer 4°x5° atmospheric model by J. Perlwitz [personal communication]. In a 50-year control run Perlwitz finds that the interannual variability of seasonal mean temperature in the stratosphere maximizes in the region of the subpolar jet streams at realistic values, but the model produces only six sudden stratospheric warmings (SSWs) in 50 years, compared with about one every two years in the real world. ... Climate simulations for 1880-2003 with GISS modelE -- Hansen et al. 2007, in press.

Uh-huh... "From the air, the evidence of climate change is striking" - "The airport in Greenland's capital, Nuuk, doesn't look like any other airport. Outside, the tiny runway accommodates a lone helicopter. Inside the waiting room, the chairs are upholstered in seal skin.

This otherworldliness was expected, as Greenland has little in common with any other place on the planet. The largest island in the world, it is weighed down by its immense ice cap that in winter covers almost its entire land mass. In summer, the ice retreats to reveal a savage landscape of fjords and jagged rocks. And, at the end of this summer, it has revealed more than ever.

Flying low, fast and north into the interior, the mind's eye expects a scene of endless winter but the reality is worryingly different. There is little to prepare you for the summer spectacle of Greenland's fjords. It feels like a confusion of geography. At once as familiar as Scottish lochs, they present a problem of scale. The dark mountains that frame the deep lakes rise so high that they push through the cloud clover and on to snow caps that are rarely if ever seen from the shore. And then there are the icebergs, floating in brilliant white squadrons, trailing pale tails of melt water for miles behind.

But on the shore this is now a genuinely green land. One where Arctic barley, radishes and potatoes are growing for the first time in centuries." (London Independent)

First time in centuries eh? Would that be the Renaissance or Medieval Warm Period then? And before then perhaps the Roman, Greek and Babylonian Warm Periods? Funny how people have historically thrived under circumstances currently considered terrifying...

Letter of the moment: "Gore wrong on warming" - "Re: "The planet has a fever," Sept. 30.

I don't know if Al Gore specifically mentioned me as a "global warming denier" in his speech. The article implied he did.

I'm flattered to be mentioned, but I've always acknowledged warming occurred, I just point out there is no evidence humans are the cause. I've spent my career educating people that climate changes all the time and current changes are well within natural variability." (Tim Ball, Times Colonist)

"U-turn on showing of Al Gore climate change film in school" - "A lorry driver from Kent has forced the Government to rewrite guidance for schools that want to show Al Gore’s climate change film, An Inconvenient Truth." (London Times)

"The Al Gore Circus rolls through Austin" - "Some wrap-up notes to last night’s Al Gore appearance at the Erwin Center:

First off, as this sharp Daily Texan editorial points out, for all of Gore’s efforts to get the news media to devote more attention to climate change, he (and his promotional agency) denied press passes for our reporters and photographers. (The kind folks at the Erwin Center ended up giving us a few tickets — not such a big sacrifice, as it turned out, since many of the high-dollar seats went empty. The Erwin Center said about 3,000 tickets were sold.)" (Salsa Verde)

"Czech President Clashes with Environmentalists after UN Speech" - "PRAGUE - "The recent rise in global temperatures has been very small in historical comparison, and its impact on man and his activities are basically negligible," Czech President Vaclav Klaus told a United Nations conference on global warming last week, causing domestic uproar." (IPS)

Wonder if Gwynne spends a lot of time looking out for black helicopters? "Gwynne Dyer: Divide and stall, Bush's cynical answer to tackling climate change" - "When denial fails, try evasion. Almost all the climate change deniers, even US President George W. Bush, now allow the forbidden phrase to pass their lips. But that doesn't mean they have really accepted the need to do something about it. The preferred tactics now are distraction, diversion and delay.

That's why the US Government has just held a mini-summit on climate change just two days after the United Nations held a one-day summit to prepare for the December meeting in Indonesia that must set the targets for deeper cuts in greenhouse gas emissions after 2012, when the current Kyoto Protocol expires. The Bush Administration, which refused to ratify the Kyoto pact, doesn't want any hard targets at all, so the name of the game is sabotage." (Gwynne Dyer, New Zealand Herald)

Reply to Lockwood and Fröhlich – The persistent role of the Sun in climate forcing (Svensmark, H. and Friis-Christensen, E., Danish National Space Center, Scientific Report 3/2007)

See also: A Critique on the Lockwood/Frochlich Paper in the Royal Society Proceedings and The “Unruly Sunne” cannot be ruled out as a Cause of Recent Climate Variation (SPPI)

"Solar wind warming up Earth" - "Lev Zeleny, director of the Institute of Space Research at the Russian Academy of Sciences and an Academy corresponding member, believes that before making Kyoto Protocol-like decisions, we should thoroughly study the influence of all factors and receive more or less unequivocal results. In order to treat an illness, we must diagnose it first, he insists.

Yury Leonov, director of the Institute of Geology at the Russian Academy of Sciences, thinks that the human impact on nature is so small that it can be dismissed as a statistical mistake." (Yury Zaitsev for RIA Novosti)

Although still fullofit: "Scientists rein in climate forecasts" - "NEW climate change projections for Australia have lowered worst-case forecasts of temperature rises by 1 degree Celsius but are more certain of temperature increases causing more droughts and bushfires this century.

The CSIRO and Bureau of Meteorology warn Australia is almost certain to be 1C warmer by 2030 and will warm by between 1C and 5C, depending on the amount of greenhouse gases emitted. This is a narrowing of projections six years ago. In 2001, those predictions were for warming of up to 6C.

The CSIRO report updates projections for the Australian climate for the rest of the century, incorporating material from the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change assessment report, released in February.

They project the impact of different greenhouse gas scenarios, predicting a 1C rise in temperature in Australia in 2030, compared with 1990, with the inland warming more than the coast. Under a low-emissions scenario, the report projects warming of between 1C and 2.5C by 2070, which could increase to more than 3.4C with high levels of greenhouse gases." (The Australian)

What a bunch of hooey! In a sealed system without negative feedbacks (think convective towers, clouds...) doubling pre-Industrial Revolution levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide could theoretically raise global mean temperature by 1.2 °C but real world measures suggest this would really be <0.4 °C. There remains no evidence increased atmospheric CO2 will or can affect rainfall although there is a wealth of evidence increased atmospheric CO2 enhances plant water use efficiency. In any given year we have no way of telling whether the next will be warmer or cooler and the uncertainty increases with the temporal span over which estimates are made. This year a La Niña appears to be developing, suggesting Australia will likely have a cooler, wetter summer but only time will tell.

Sad... "Tackling climate change 'our duty'" - "AUSTRALIA'S chief scientist says it is the duty of countries like Australia to lead the world in tackling climate change.
Speaking at the Greenhouse 2007 Conference in Sydney today, Chief Scientist Jim Peacock said Australia's technological expertise should put it at the forefront of the greenhouse gas battle.

“People ask why should we bother in Australia when we are only responsible for about one per cent or so of global emissions,” Dr Peacock said.

“(We should) because it is worthwhile, and we must play our part as a global citizen country, and we're a relatively sophisticated nation and we should be able to help some of the major emitters in the globe to significantly reduce their contributions to global emissions.

“Australia would be a wonderful example of how we can help on the global scale." (AAP)

... when alleged scientists spout such nonsense. Scientists know that Earth's temperature cannot be measurably affected by tweaking our energy supply (even if people stopped using fossil fuels altogether).

"Forecaster Predicts Two More Atlantic Hurricanes" - "MIAMI - The La Nina weather phenomenon in the eastern Pacific will likely extend the Atlantic hurricane season this year, with four more storms forming and two becoming hurricanes, a noted forecasting team said on Tuesday." (Reuters)

"Hurricane/Global Warming Link Weakened" - "“Given this state of affairs, projections of changes in [tropical cyclone] intensity due to future global warming must be approached cautiously.”

This is the concluding sentence of a just-published article by University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s Kyle Swanson in which he carefully examined the historical relationship between sea surface temperatures and tropical cyclone intensity in the Atlantic and western Pacific ocean." (WCR)

Who writes this rubbish? "Cyclones may speed up climate change" - "The CSIRO says cyclones could accelerate climate change.

Research scientist Garry Cook says rising sea temperatures and more intense cyclones in northern Australia could see enormous amounts of carbon released from tropical forests..

Dr Cook has been studying the impact of Cyclone Monica, which devastated thousands of square kilometres of eucalypt forest in Arnhem Land last year.

He says the loss of tree-stored carbon in a single cyclone would be the same as the nation's emissions from fossil fuels over an entire year.

"The best predictions at the moment are that we'll get an increased frequency of very strong cyclones, and maybe a decreased frequency of weaker cyclones," he said.

"So that will probably mean that large very old trees might be rarer and perhaps less carbon stored in the landscape, so further exacerbating the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and cause more global warming."" (Australian Broadcasting Corp.)

The effect, already tiny, of adding more carbon to the atmosphere is logarithmic (each added molecule has less potential effect than the one preceding and so on). Tropical cyclones (hurricanes, in American parlance) transport vast stores of thermal energy from the oceans to high altitudes, where the optical depth is less than 1 and infrared radiates to space. Let's see, the minuscule warming potential of a little more trace gas versus the massive cooling of mechanical transport (bypassing the greenhouse effect, natural and enhanced) of mind boggling amounts of energy to altitudes where it readily radiates to space. So, what do you think, are tropical cyclones a warming or a cooling influence?

Just because it made me smile: "Al Gore Warns of New Environmental Crisis" - "Now that he has found the solution to global warming (it's global air conditioning) former Vice President, Oscar winner and environmental activist, Al Gore, warns of a new environmental crisis threatening our planet: Global storming." (The Spoof)

"Et tu, FT?" - "It is well-understood that EU bureaucrats and politicians worship rhetoric over substance, but nowhere in “Yo, Kyoto – Bush shifts his stance on global warming” (Fiona Harvey, Financial Times, 1 October , 2007) did the FT actually note comparative U.S. and EU greenhouse gas emissions performance. The piece dwells on U.S. “rhetoric”, its “position”, “attitude” and “motivation”, which apparently are of more use to FT readers than actual U.S. performance for which it is so excoriated by the embarrassingly under-performing European Union. Further, as regards the White House claim that “Last year America grew our economy while also reducing greenhouse gases,” FT felt compelled not to quantify (or debunk), but only to wistfully mischaracterize it as a claim that “going green can lead to economic growth.” Despite Bush having apparently already "gone green", FT then notes that “the EU and other governments that have been frustrated at the lack of progress on tackling greenhouse gas emissions left last week’s meetings unconvinced.” (Chris Horner, Cooler Heads Blog)

"That'll Teach You to Grow" - "I love the UNFCCC's decision to "rethink" the list of haves and have-nots for a post-2012 agreement, such that Russia is preemptively given the nod that it need not fear about pressure to stay in the game. Bulgaria, which was recently bribed in (a la Russia) on the promise of selling 60 MMT to Europe -- Heaven knows, they'll need them -- has no business being among the "haves" and we thank them for playing, here's a lovely parting gift. Romania, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland certainly no longer need apply, either, but make way for Bermuda, the Channel Islands, San Marino...who knows, maybe the Savoy will seize the moment to make a comeback (don't forget Qatar, UAE, Kuwait and Singapore, all of whom are far richer than many of the Kyoto Parties). EU-member and Kyoto free-rider Cyprus is as wealthy as South Korea; surely we should expect them to pony up now?

Obviously this isn't a coherent argument to reshuffle the lineup. What changed? Nothing, except Russia made clear what others have known and predicted for years: they had no intention of being in the agreement should it require them to do anything other than receive wealth transfers. What a lovely, face-saving way to preemptively deal with that: naturally, being among the 155 recipient nations is precisely where they belong. But consider the thinking behind this step-down by the UNFCCC. Apparently the agreement, whose original aim was to slowly include all countries (or certainly most) is really just for a rotating bunch of about 34." (Chris Horner, Cooler Heads Blog)

"EPA: Competing Bills Achieve Same Goal" - "WASHINGTON -- Three competing Senate proposals calling for limits on greenhouse gases would have roughly identical success in curbing global warming, but only if other nations also significantly cut heat-trapping emissions, a government analysis says." (AP)

Presumably that "success" would be "no gain at great pain" because we surely can't tweak any global thermostat.

"No US Climate Law Under Bush - Key Senator" - "WASHINGTON - No US law curbing climate-warming emissions is likely until President George W. Bush leaves office in 2009, Sen. Jeff Bingaman, Democratic chairman of the powerful energy committee, said on Tuesday." (Reuters)

Massive incentive for Australian's to vote Coalition: "Australia may adopt Kyoto on Bali eve" - "The upcoming UN climate convention talks in Bali in December may get a last-minute shake-up with signs that Australia, an opponent of the Kyoto Protocol and key US climate ally, may well switch sides on the eve of the meeting.

Australia, the only other rich nation along with the US not to ratify the Kyoto Protocol, could soon see a change of government to the pro-Kyoto Labor Party. A national election is due and Prime Minister John Howard says he will have it by early December at the latest. Most political observers believe it will be in late November.

With the opposition Labor Party well ahead in opinion polls under leader Kevin Rudd and consistently opposing the conservative Howard government’s refusal to ratify Kyoto, a change of government would likely see Australia change sides quickly, just weeks, possibly days, before the Bali meeting begins on December 3.

"We're certainly committed to immediately ratifying the protocol,” Labor’s environment spokesman, Peter Garrett, told Reuters yesterday." (Carbon Positive)

"Tory climate change sceptics warm to their theme" - "No matter what Zac Goldsmith and David Cameron may say, there is one corner of the Conservative party that is forever sceptical about global warming. That corner gathered in a small studio above the Grand Theatre in Blackpool last night, where the Freedom Association was holding a meeting provocatively titled "Let Cooler Heads Prevail".

The Freedom Association's rampant lion - or should that be lion rampant? - was on display. Delegates cooled themselves with climate-sceptic fans. They were thoroughly enjoying themselves.

"You either believe it or you don't," Roger Helmer, the eurosceptic MEP, told them. "And in my case, I don't!" Cheers. "This whole issue has got completely out of hand. It has become a new religion. You have to believe it. If you do not believe it, you are a heretic. They would like to burn us at the stake - using recycled faggots!" (Guardian Unlimited)

"China Would Follow US Lead on Climate - NRDC" - "NEW YORK - China would soon follow the US lead if Washington agrees to tackle its emissions in the next few years because China's government takes the threat of global warming more seriously than the United States does, a climate expert said on Tuesday." (Reuters)

Is the NRDC naïve or just plain stupid? China is happy to have gullible Europeans finance and develop Chinese energy infrastructure but there is no way they are going to do anything to interrupt their development. Does the term "rope-a-dope" ring any bells?

Oh boy... "Climate change and public health" - "There are few contemporary issues as ubiquitous as that of climate change. Yet, even with all this coverage of its current and potential implications, we are in a rather peculiar situation insofar as real action on it seems extremely slow if not completely absent. Seemingly, we are in a state of denial towards a problem that, if left unchecked, could lead to a catastrophe on par with nuclear war!

What is the correlation between this and medicine however, you may be asking? The answer is that climate change cannot be separated from its public health implications. People are already suffering from its effects and the future impact has been predicted to include changing food production worldwide and associated malnutrition; an increase in tropical diseases and waterborne illnesses and a generally increased worldwide burden of illness We in the UK will also be unable to escape the effects and it will be our generation of medical students that will have to treat those affected." (sentienthing)

From CO2 Science this week:

Declining Arctic Sea Ice: Has a "Tipping Point" Been Passed?: Is the Arctic - as we have known it throughout all of human history - truly on the eve of destruction?

Medieval Warm Period Record of the Week:
This issue's Medieval Warm Period Record of the Week comes from the Cariaco Basin off the Venezuelan Coast. To access the entire Medieval Warm Period Project's database, click here.

Subject Index Summary:
Urban CO2 Dome (Salt Lake City, UT, USA): What has been learned about it over the last few years?

Plant Growth Data:
This week we add new results (blue background) of plant growth responses to atmospheric CO2 enrichment obtained from experiments described in the peer-reviewed scientific literature for: Black Locust, Japanese White Birch, Northern Red Oak, and Southern Sugar Maple.

Journal Reviews:
New York City Hurricanes: There haven't been any for quite a while ... thanks, perhaps, to global warming.

A New History of Total Solar Irradiance Since AD 1700: How was it derived? ... and what does it look like?

The Photosynthetic and Transpiration Responses of Canola Siliquas to Elevated CO2 and UVB Radiation: What are they? And what do they imply about the future strength of the aerial fertilization and anti-transpiration effects of the ongoing rise in the air's CO2 content?

CO2 and Temperature Effects on Marine Picocyanobacteria: Isolates of two major groups of cyanobacteria exhibit radically different responses.

Cadmium Toxicity in a Green Microalga: How is it affected by atmospheric CO2 enrichment?

Bath, NYTemperature Record of the Week:
This issue's Temperature Record of the Week is from Bath, NY. During the period of most significant greenhouse gas buildup over the past century, i.e., 1930 and onward, Bath's mean annual temperature has cooled by 0.84 degrees Fahrenheit. Not much global warming here! (co2science.org)

"A greenhouse in order to study the impact of climate change on plants" - "The University of Navarra has installed a thermal gradient greenhouse in order to study the impact of climate change on plants. This is a pioneering methodology for studying the simultaneous effect of increased CO2 and ambient temperature. The research project, which will be undertaken by researchers from the area of Plant Biology of the University, could become a reference for later scientific studies in this area.

These studies, financed by the Spanish Ministry of Education and Science, the University Foundation of Navarra and the Foundation Caja Navarra, have already obtained their first results. “We have discovered that plants respond to enrichment of atmospheric CO2 with increased growth. This will imply an increase in the productivity of food crops and of plant growth in general,” explained Prof. Juan José Irigoyen, leader of the research project.

Nevertheless, after prolonged growth in an environment with increased CO2, plants become acclimatized and throttle back their growth. This could be due to the fact that in the new conditions produced by climate change, limiting factors appear which reduce plant growth, such as the availability of nutrients in the soil. In addition, the changes in other parameters associated with an increase in CO2 and with climate change in general, such as an increase in temperature and a reduction in rainfall, can reduce or even eliminate these beneficial effects." (Elhuyar Fundazioa)

"Fear and Mythology: Dow’s energy proposal." - "In his National Review Online piece yesterday, Dow Chemical’s Andrew Liveris paints a near-tipping-point picture of the U.S. manufacturing sector to support his call for Carteresque restraints on energy consumption. But there are two problems with Mr. Liveris’s argument: the predicate and the proposition." (Daniel Ikenson, NRO)

And with winter coming, too: "Gazprom-Ukraine rift threatens EU gas supply" - "Fears of a new energy crisis in Europe were mounting after Russia threatened to cut gas supplies to Ukraine just two days after an election that could see a pro-Western government formed in Kiev.

The warning, which brought fresh accusations that Russia was using its natural resources to bully its neighbours, raised the prospect of a repeat of a gas dispute between the two countries last year that led to substantial energy shortfalls in the rest of Europe. The EU Commission called last night for a "swift settlement" to the crisis.

Russia's state-owned energy giant Gazprom denied charges that the Kremlin was seeking to punish Ukraine for an election that looks likely to hand control of parliament to the leaders of the 2004 Orange Revolution." (London Telegraph)

"Bush's good idea on global warming" - "Washington - Imagine this: The Republican governor of a large, trendsetting state works with leaders of his state legislature from both parties to enact groundbreaking legislation that requires private corporations and others operating in the state to meet stringent pro-green goals. Is this Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in California, 2007? It could be. But it could also be Gov. George W. Bush in Texas, 1999. The Renewable Portfolio Standards Act adopted by Texas that year required the state's energy retailers to produce 5,000 megawatts of electricity from renewable sources by 2015.

That legislation provided a strong incentive for Texas energy companies to invest in renewables and established firm penalties for those that failed to meet their mandate. By all accounts it jump-started the state's development of alternative energy, particularly wind farms. Nowadays, Texas leads the nation in wind-power generation. Technological innovation can help reconcile economic development and the reduction of greenhouse gases (GHGs) that exacerbate global warming – but such innovation is most likely when governments establish firm mandates, not when private companies practice "business as usual."

All of which makes it quite mystifying why, as US president, Mr. Bush has firmly opposed fixed mandates to cut GHGs." (The Christian Science Monitor)

Well Helena, Governors can be goof-offs without serious detriment to the world but Presidents have real responsibilities and cannot simply mandate absurd and seriously detrimental actions.

"Citigroup, Bank of America Raked Over Coal" - "WASHINGTON - U.S. environmentalists seeking to turn up the heat on the coal industry, which they blame for a litany of problems, are targeting two banks they say have taken the lead in financing mines." (IPS)

"CLIMATE CHANGE: U.S. Moving Backwards" - "BROOKLIN, Canada - As global warming melts the Arctic, the United States's biggest banks are investing billions of dollars in as many as 150 new coal-fired power plants around the country." (IPS

"Idyllic holiday destinations raise alarm over climate change" - "DAVOS, Switzerland - Idyllic island and beach holiday destinations on Tuesday launched their cry of alarm about the impact of climate change, warning that it was threatening their scenery and their livelihoods." (AFP)

"MEPs retreat on aviation emissions plan" - "Hopes of curtailing the rapid growth of greenhouse gas emissions from the aviation sector have been hampered by the European Parliament's environment committee, say environmental groups Transport & Environment, WWF, Friends of the Earth and Climate Action Network.

In a key vote this afternoon, the committee said aviation should have its emissions "capped" at around two-thirds above 1990 levels, when it is integrated into the EU Emissions Trading Scheme in 2010. Although MEPs improved on the original legal proposal from the European Commission, the vote represents a step back from an earlier resolution by the European Parliament in July 2006 that said the sector should cut emissions in line with Kyoto Protocol targets. The decision also comes in contrast to an earlier EU commitment to cut overall greenhouse gas emissions by 20-30% by 2020." (T&E)

"Whether over Nessie or Diana, we’ ve got to grow up" - "Our columnist on the rise and fall of modern myths" (London Times)

"Dangers of a soundbyte world" - "If scanning the headlines and catching the soundbytes on the news is how you get most of your health information, you’re not alone. Marketers count on the fact that most people are too busy to take the time to read the science behind the headlines and understand the real story. But relying on soundbytes can be really bad for your health. Here is one example in the news today." (Junkfood Science)

Dodgy data dredge of the moment: "Long-term cell phone use increases brain tumor risk" - "NEW YORK - Using a cell phone for more than a decade can double the risk of some brain tumors, according to a new analysis of previous studies.

The findings "give a consistent pattern of increased risk for acoustic neuroma and glioma," Dr. Lennart Hardell of University Hospital in Orebro, Sweden and colleagues write, with the greatest risk seen on the side of the head where the mobile phone was held." (Reuters Health)

"Weight issues plague heavy, thin teens alike" - "NEW YORK - Many teenagers are dealing with weight issues, from obesity to eating disorder symptoms, and these problems seem to have some causes in common, new research suggests." (Reuters Health)

Primary cause in common? Body image hysteria generated by nanny governments and crappy media.

"Not all types of fat are harmful" - "HONG KONG - While it has long been held that too much fat in the liver may result in diabetes, researchers appear to have discovered that not all types of fat are harmful.

Writing in the latest issue of Nature Medicine, a group of Japanese scientists described how they changed the fat composition in the livers of mutant mice and fed them exactly the same rich, fatty diet as other mice.

But while all the rodents became obese and the normal mice developed resistance to insulin and became prone to diabetes, the mutant group was free from those problems.

"Obesity is a matter of quantity of fats in the body, but it is our new message that the quality of fats could be a new determinant factor for diabetes," said Hitoshi Shimano of the Department of Internal Medicine at the Graduate School of Comprehensive Human Sciences." (Reuters)

That percentage body fat is not a determinant is true.

"Obesity may push US health costs above Europe" - "WASHINGTON - Nearly twice as many U.S. adults are obese compared to Europeans, a key factor leading Americans to suffer more often from cancer, diabetes and other chronic ailments, a study released on Tuesday found.

Treatment of these and other chronic diseases adds between $100 billion and $150 billion to the annual health care tab in the United States, according to the report comparing U.S. and European health published online in the journal Health Affairs." (Reuters)

No, but obesity hysteria just might...

"Good Food, Bad Science" - " Why the UN’s approach to gene-spliced foods is hopelessly flawed.

CHIBA, JAPAN—During his first months as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton denounced the UN Development Program for its “unacceptable” funding of Palestinian propaganda and publicly identified “countries who are in a state of denial” about the need for UN reform. He told a reporter that he felt “a little like Rod Serling has suddenly appeared and we’re writing episodes from ‘The Twilight Zone.’”

I’m having a similar experience in Japan, as a member of the U.S. delegation to a UN task force meeting on biotechnology-derived foods. The task force is a creature of the Codex Alimentarius Commission, which sets food standards on behalf of the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization and World Health Organization. Now in its eighth year, the mission of the task force is to create new regulatory requirements that apply only to foods made with the newest techniques of biotechnology—namely gene-splicing, or genetic modification—while exempting others made with far less precise and predictable technologies." (Henry I. Miller, The American)

October 2, 2007

Will global warming hurt your nest egg? SEC Should Require Companies to Disclose Risk of Global Warming Regulation, Study Says; Companies Risk Earnings While Keeping Shareholders in the Dark, Reports Free Enterprise Education Institute - The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) should take immediate steps to require publicly-owned corporations to reveal the potential harm caused by global warming regulations on earnings and shareholder value, concluded a study released today by the Free Enterprise Education Institute (FEEI). (PR Newswire)

Get this for your kids! DemandDebate.com Endorses New Global Warming Primer for Students; 'The Sky Isn't Falling': Informs and Provides Needed Balance in Environmental Education - "Author and Montana State University resource economist Holly Fretwell has done a magnificent job in presenting the facts on global warming for students in an easy-to-read and scientifically accurate manner," said Steve Milloy, executive director of DemandDebate.com. "'The Sky Isn't Falling' should be mandatory reading for every student," added Milloy. (PR Newswire)

The Sky's Not Falling is available at the DemandDebate.com Store. ASK ABOUT BULK ORDERS!

Alarm & Win! "Climate skeptics up ante" - "Junkscience.com would love nothing more than to pay you $125,000 to cause a catastrophic increase in global warming." (Washington Times)

Cap-and-trade like Soviet-style central planning

New from 21st Century Science: True CO2 Record Buried Under Gore by Laurence Hecht (pdf of full text)

See also: CO2: The Greatest Scientific Scandal of Our Time by Zbigniew Jaworowski (pdf of full text)

"Totalitarianism vs state climatologist in Virginia" - "The members of the global warming movement have offered us another piece of evidence that their thinking and behavior is not too different from the Nazis and communists." (The Reference Frame)

"George Taylor, Climatologist Defending Himself From Attacks" - "Previously, I posted a link to a video interview with George Taylor, of Oregon State University and the Oregon State Climatologist. Here is his reply to an attack article criticizing his view that man and carbon dioxide emissions are not to blame for global warming. The vicious nature of the personal attacks on global warming skeptics is typical." (Pete's Place)

"Weather Stations Giving Bad Global Warming Data -- MSM MIA" - "A few months ago, the blogosphere and talk radio were abuzz with the story of how the nation's various weather stations and temperature reading devices have been improperly located or badly constructed and how the data received from these improper devices must be suspected as inaccurate. The MSM briefly mentioned this story but quickly dropped it like the proverbial hot rock. It makes one wonder why?" (News Busters)

"How not to measure temperature, part 32" - "A common theme with official climate stations of record is their placement with city and county fire stations. The reason? An observer is needed to transfer the data from the thermometer to the B91 form sent to NCDC every month. Unfortunately, fire stations are often not good places to measure temperature due to the amount of concrete and equipment around them, and often their placement to better serve the city population." (Watts Up With That?)

Will really annoy... "Caribbean forests thrived in 'Little Ice Age'" - "Some Caribbean forests were at their densest for the past 2000 years during the 'Little Ice Age', new research shows.

This forest growth was not expected, because other areas in the region were cool and dry, but the curious finding shows that the effects of climate change can vary from place to place, say researchers.

From approximately 1350 to 1850, the Little Ice Age cooled low latitudes and dried the Caribbean including the Yucatan Peninsula. So you might expect to see evidence of this dry spell further west along the Gulf of Campeche, says Maria Lozano-Garcia, a palaeontologist at the National Autonomous University of Mexico." (NewScientist.com news service)

... AGW-advocates by virtue of recognizing the Little Ice Age as a hemisphere-wide aberration rather than an isolated and localized North Atlantic event (plays havoc with hockey stick-style Northern Hemisphere temperature reconstructions -- next thing you know people will be reinstating the Medieval Warm Period and then where's contemporary warming?).

Garbage In, Garbage Out... "Too late to avoid warming: climate report" - "Sydney could face an annual temperature rise of up to 4.3 degrees by 2070, and a tripling of the number of days a year when the thermometer soars above 35 degrees, if global greenhouse gas emissions are not cut steeply, a new report has found." (Sydney Morning Herald)

... climate models have zero demonstrated prognostic ability but that doesn't stop the fear-profiteers.

"CSIRO warns of climate chaos" - "AUSTRALIANS have been warned to brace for catastrophic heatwaves, bushfires, drought and severe water shortages as climate change causes widespread havoc." (Herald Sun)

Based on the IPCC's AR4, Climate Change In Australia includes the delightful "Disclaimer: No responsibility will be accepted by CSIRO or the Bureau of Meteorology for the accuracy of the projections in or inferred from this report, or for any person's reliance on, or interpretations, deductions, conclusions or actions in reliance on, this report or any information contained in it." We'd suggest that's very wise...

Interestingly, the increasing arm-waving and hysterical hand-wringing is allegedly based on AR4, which reduced high end warming estimates, reduced the top end estimate of possible sea level increase over the next century and generally backed away from previous apocalyptic guesses. Go figure!

Presumably there is great desperation to stampede the populace since all indications are of developing La Niña conditions in the Pacific (note the westward-pointing "finger" of cold water extending well beyond the Galapagos Islands). Such development traditionally means an end to Eastern Australian drought conditions and cooler, wetter summer conditions down under (hardly conducive to convincing people they are about to broil).

The Top 100 Effects of Global Warming - Eye-watering hysteria piece from the Center for American Progress Action Fund's Mic Check Radio

Sad to think some people are actually worried by such fanciful prognostications. Bottom line: Earth has an equal chance of cooling as heating -- we don't know and climate models have zero demonstrated prognostic ability.

"High hills chilled by changing climate" - "WHISTLER, B.C. -- High in the mountains that tower over North America's most popular ski resort, wisps of cloud linger over a light dusting of snow. Not far below, the hundreds of ski runs that cut across Whistler and Blackcomb mountains look like the world's most challenging golf course, winding their way down the steep sides in wide paths of bright green grass.

It is a postcard-perfect early fall afternoon, but for some it is also a terrifying vision of a day when climate change could blow-dry the snow from these hills." (Financial Post)

"UN: Climate change driving forced migration" - "Climate change, environmental degradation and economic deprivation are among forces increasingly driving the dramatic growth in migration, the head of the United Nations refugee agency said on Monday, pointing to desertification, rising sea levels, water shortages and political conflicts." (Mail & Guardian)

"Back When All News Wasn't Bad" - "In 1996, Camille Parmesan published a paper in Nature magazine that supposedly was the first documentation that animal species (in this case Edith’s Checkerspot Butterflies) were shifting their range because of presumably anthropogenic climate changes. Parmesan told the New York Times, “I cannot say that climate warming has caused the shift; what I can say is that it is exactly what is predicted by global warming scenarios…” (WCR)

Alternative Views on Climate Change - Backgrounder (Council on Foreign Relations)

"Gore Dodges Repeated Calls to Debate Global Warming" - "As over 150 heads of state and government gather at UN headquarters in New York to discuss climate change, former Vice President Al Gore, the most prominent proponent of the theory of the human-induced, catastrophic global warming, continues to refuse repeated challenges to debate the issue." (Bonner R. Cohen, TCS Daily)

"Rich Must Reduce Emissions for Poor to Develop" - "NEW DELHI - Rich countries like the United States must reduce their carbon footprint to support poor nations who have no choice but to increase their emissions if they are to lift themselves out of poverty, a leading environmentalist said." (Reuters)

"Pollution keeps rising despite wish to make cuts: Canadian emissions in 2005 set record, 32.7% above Kyoto goal" - "After years of telling pollsters we demand drastic action to cut greenhouse gas emissions, Canadians have voted with their furnaces, factories and SUVs to keep real-life emissions at a record high in 2005.

The total of 747 million tonnes of greenhouse gases from 2005, the most recent figure available, ties the record set in 2004.

That's 32.7 per cent above the target in Canada's Kyoto Protocol commitment -- which takes binding effect in three months.

And Environment Canada says 2005 would have been even worse if we hadn't lucked into a warmer-than-average winter that saved heating fuel. We also reduced emissions in some areas by bringing nuclear plants back online in Ontario, which allowed the province's power plants to burn less coal." (Ottawa Citizen)

"Something Rotten in Denmark" - "I have noted previously the outrageous moralizing by (particularly, but by no means exclusively) Denmark’s Environment Minister last week, when she claimed to be an increasingly impatient emissary on behalf of “the planet”, demanding that the U.S. make the same promise as Europe to reduce its greenhouse gas (principally CO2) emissions.

That same week, I now see, Denmark released figures showing that it increased its 2006 CO2 emissions by 16.1% over 2005 levels, citing their growing economy (which relied on coal-fired power, it seems).

U.S. emissions dropped 1.3% over the same time, while the economy grew by 3.3%." (Chris Horner, Cooler Heads Blog)


One issue that seems to have been lost or avoided in the debate over the connection between atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) and global warming is the miniscule mass of CO2 that is being blamed for so many past, present and predicted natural disasters. The mass of atmospheric CO2 is extremely small when compared to the total mass of the Earth’s atmosphere and even smaller when compared to the combined masses of the land and water features on the Earth’s surface as well.

The directly proportional relationship that exists between the mass of any object and its heat capacity is essentially axiomatic: all other factors being the same, the larger the mass of an object, the greater its ability to capture, store, transport and release heat. Since the concentration of CO2 in the Earth’s atmosphere is so small, the notion that it is causing global warming seems to ignore this basic truth.

It should be noted that CO2 exists only as a gas within the the temperature extremes of the earth’s atmosphere and as such, is uniformly distributed throughout the atmosphere. It cannot form layers that are capable of acting as reflective surfaces or insulating barriers. Although CO2 can absorb heat energy from the Sun in the form of infrared radiation, the bulk of that energy is absorbed by the Earth’s surface, itself, as well as by atmospheric water, oxygen and non-greenhouse gases.

The objective here is to demonstrate that the mass of CO2 in the Earth’s atmosphere is too small to absorb solar energy in quantities, sufficient to cause catastrophic global warming; and thus, to challenge those who support the connection between CO2andglobal warming to explain their theories in terms of classical science.

The arithmetic application of established physical data to classical science can be used to construct models that demonstrate the basic premise of this challenge. Each model must include a measured mass of CO2 to capture a measured quantity of heat energy from the Sun and to transfer that heat to a measured mass of the Earth’s surface.

Here's a thore point: "Arctic Thaw May be at 'Tipping Point'" - "OSLO - A record melt of Arctic summer sea ice this month may be a sign that global warming is reaching a critical trigger point that could accelerate the northern thaw, some scientists say." (Reuters)

Thorry! Couldn't resitht!

Somewhat more accurately: "Arctic Melt Unnerves the Experts" - "Scientists are unnerved by this summer’s massive polar ice melt, its implications for the future, and their ability to predict it." (New York Times)

At least Andy does mention that ice displacement was a significant factor rather than pure "meltdown" as many of the hand-wringers misdescribe the season just past. He also mentions increased Antarctic sea ice, albeit very briefly.

For the arithmetically inclined: Do The Math--Proof that Greenland's Melting Ice is a LONG-term problem - Let me take an engineer's view of melting Greenland's Ice Sheets. You can look these numbers up on the internet and wade through the math yourself to check the calculations:

  • Area of Greenland Ice:   1,710,000 square kilometers
  • Thickness of Ice:          1.666 kilometers (average)
  • Volume of Ice:      2,848,000 cubic kilometers  
    • (Source: Wikipedia)
If it all melted, worlds oceans would rise by:
  • Area of world's oceans: 361,000,000 square kilometers (Wikipedia)
  • Calculated sea level rise from melt: 7.26 meters (2.848 million cu-km of ice spread across 361 million sq-km of ocean, including the loss of volume from melting---ice shrinks when melted.)
Oh-oh, that looks like a real problem--it's nearly 24 feet of rise!!! But, hold on a minute: How long would it take to melt that much ice? That depends on how much ice there is and the physical properties of water, particularly the latent heat of fusion:
  • Volume of Ice:     2,848,000 cubic kilometers
  • Mass of Ice:    2,848,000,000,000,000,000 kilograms
  • Heat of Fusion: 334 kiloJoules/kilogram (a physical property of water; this must be added to ice at 0 deg-C to cause the phase change to liquid water)
  • Heat of Fusion Required for Melting:
    • 951,519,000,000,000,000,000 kiloJoules = 15,849,000,000,000,000,000 kwh  
(One kiloJoule is 1 kilowatt applied for 1 second, or a kilowatt-second or 0.0166 kilowatt-hours--the same unit as on your electric bill.)
Not true, one Kj = 0.000277778 kWh

That's a lot of energy and it must all come from somewhere. The sun is really the only source available. Barrow, Alaska, is at about the same  latitude as the middle of Greenland. Solar radiation falling on Barrow averages about 2 kwh/square-meter/day (Funny; no one seems to know the insolation for Thule, Greenland.)
(Source: http://rredc.nrel.gov/solar/old_data/nsrdb/redbook/atlas/serve.cgi)
  • Area of Greenland Ice:     1,710,000 square kilometers= 1,710,000,000,000 square meters
  • Greenland Solar Radiation: 3,420,000,000,000 kwh/day
So if all the solar radiation that hits Greenland is totally devoted to melting ice (no reflection, no heating of air) , the time required is 4,637,000 days, (Heat of fusion required divided by the available average solar radiation).
Nope, using these calculations that'd actually be 77,284 days or 212 years

That is a little over 12,700 years.  And this is just to melt the ice that has already reached 0 deg-C; it takes more to raise the temperature from ambient to the melting point. (What's the average temperature of the ice today? I dunno...)

It's just an opinion, but this tells me that my distant great-great's will have plenty of time to move from their beach-front property---if a melt really does occur...

(If you were good with thermodamics and heat transfer, you could probably take the IPCC temperature foreguesses and figure how long it would take for the "warmer" air temperatures to melt the ice, too.) -- Correspondence from Bill Brown

"Hollywood sending mixed messages on global warming" - "LOS ANGELES ---- From "green carpets" at awards shows to organic fruit served to actors on sets, Hollywood is going all out to promote itself as being environmentally hip.

But is it all just show?

A two-year study released last year by the UCLA concluded that special effects explosions, idling vehicles and diesel generators make the entertainment industry a major Southern California polluter, second only to the oil industry." (Associated Press)

"From Gaia to Geoengineering: A Radical Cure for Global Warming" - "A letter to Nature proposes “an emergency treatment for the pathology of global warming.” The scheme itself — putting giant pipes in the ocean — sounds rather problematic, but I’m intrigued by who’s daring to propose it: James E. Lovelock, the British environmentalist renowned for the Gaia hypothesis of the Earth as a kind of self-regulating superorganism." (John Tierney, New York Times)

"A modest proposal to reduce DC's carbon footprint" - "DC outpaces other nations in "pollution," Washington Post reports

By "pollution," the Post means carbon dioxide (CO2)--plant food, the first link of the planetary food chain. But let that pass. The article affords many good yuks. Aside from the UN and the EU Environment Agency, where do we find the most self-righteous blather about the alleged "planetary emergency of global warming"? Why in Washington, D.C., of course. But, the Post reports, the D.C.-metropolitan area's CO2 emissions exceed those of several countries." (Cooler Heads Blog)

"Japan to remap climate plans to reach Kyoto goal" - "TOKYO - Japan will draw up new measures to cut greenhouse gas emissions by next March in an attempt to meet its targets under the Kyoto Protocol on climate change, a top official said on Tuesday." (Reuters)

"Arnie makes climate change plea to Tories - then goes for a drive in his carbon-belching gas guzzler" - "His passionate speech on climate change was set to be one of the highlights of the Tory conference.

But, instead of being a spectacular coup for Conservative leader David Cameron, Arnold Schwarzenegger's address seems to have turned into something of an own goal.

In a glaring case of do-as-I-say and not-as-I-do, the Governator followed up his passionate plea for environmental action by cruising round Santa Monica in a carbon-belching gas guzzler." (Daily Mail)

"Green Jobs Are a Myth" - "CA Senator Barbara Boxer maintains that greenhouse gas emissions regulations would create “millions” of green jobs. And MN Governor Tim Pawlenty claims that compulsory emissions reductions would be a “boost” to the economy.

But are these assertions true? Not according to AEI’s Kenneth Green, who told the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works that the laws of market economics contradict claims that green is gold:" (William Yeatman, Cooler Heads Blog)

"WORLD'S CLEANEST HUMVEE" - "Al Gore claims: We can’t sell our cars in China today because we don’t meet the Chinese emissions standards. And Sir Nicholas Stern dutifully repeats: You can’t export an American car to China: it does not satisfy the emissions standards. Take a look, gentlemen:

Via a Chinese-reading correspondent, who emails: “Not only is China importing US vehicles. Not only are they importing gas-guzzling US Hummers. Now they’re importing US Hummers stretched to breaking point.

“This Hummer is 10.5 metres long, weighs 5 tons, cost more than RMB 4 million (around US$500,000), and uses 30 litres of fuel per 100 km. It costs over 10,000 RMB (more than US$1,000) to fill up the tank! The owner says it is fully imported from the US and has a Bose sound system.

“Now, where were those regulations again? You know, the ones that prevent US imports ...” (Tim Blair)

"Climate change: The new talk of farm country" - "From the vineyards of Ontario's Niagara Peninsula to the wheat fields of the Prairies, farmers across the country are in the thick of harvesting.

But this year in farm country, besides the normal talk about crop conditions, there is also chatter about global warming. Few farmers have ever seen a year like this one, marked by hot, sunny and unusually dry conditions in so many regions.

“Every single conversation that goes on about yields and weather conditions, global warming is part of that conversation,” says Stewart Wells, a Saskatchewan farmer and head of the National Farmers Union, although he adds that growers are unsure that what they are seeing is really climate change starting to happen." (Globe and Mail)

"Strength Needs Energy" - "As I’ve talked with other industrial and business leaders in the U.S. over the past several years, I’ve come to one inescapable conclusion: This country is in the middle of what could be a long and painful energy crisis." (Andrew Liveris, NRO)

"Colin James: Climate change - it's a matter of hard economics" - "Do you think humanity will do anything serious about climate change? Does humanity think it much matters whether it does or doesn't?

Note: "humanity", not "New Zealanders". We here can have only the tiniest effect. Anything we do can be relevant only in solidarity with what those in far more populous countries do.

The odds are that humanity doesn't think it matters, at least not enough to forgo significant amounts of its material gains or prospects. The odds are that humanity won't really change its mind until (or if) climate change starts to have effects that cut significantly into material gains and prospects, the necessaries and luxuries of life, and people see it as the cause: that is, when it ceases to be a moral issue and becomes an economic one." (New Zealand Herald)

"CEOs call for action on climate change" - "OTTAWA - Canada's top business leaders have endorsed a plan to combat global climate change that calls for government intervention and acknowledges that business, as well as the public, will have to pay a stiff price.

A task force of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives, which represents a wide cross-section of business interests, including oil producers, released a report Monday calling for a national strategy that produces real reductions in greenhouse gases.

The document will likely face criticism from environmentalists for not going far enough because it does not embrace a carbon tax - although it does not reject one - and calls for intensity-based targets rather than absolute reductions.

The proposals most resemble the Conservative government's green plan which was roundly criticized by opposition parties and environmental groups." (CP)

"Green Group to Target Banks Financing Coal Projects" - "NEW YORK - Environmentalists are stepping up their assault on the coal industry by targeting two major banks that finance the mine companies blamed for greenhouse gas emissions." (Reuters)

"Solidarity Of Silliness" - "Question: When will San Francisco and Los Angeles look like North Korea? Answer: On Oct. 20, when lights are expected to go out in both cities, leaving them as dark as the benighted regions of the Democratic People's Republic." (IBD)

"The Future of Bioenergy" - "With oil close to $80 per barrel, a series of businesses, ranging from chemicals and textiles through agriculture and utilities, are already facing heavy cost pressure. Hundred-dollar oil could be catastrophic for some. But despite OPEC's promises, supplies are so tight that we may be one hurricane, political crisis, pipeline explosion or major refinery accident away from some very grim earnings reports.

The best case is that other large energy sources such as nuclear, solar, wind, tide or cellulosic ethanol are a decade or more out. This leads to one obvious conclusion: We have to do better with the oil, gas and coal we have. In part this depends on improving efficiency. But a large part also depends on getting more energy out of existing and new deposits. This will require not just chemical and mechanical solutions, but understanding hydrocarbons as a biological system.

It is easy to forget why biology and energy are symbiotic. Hydrocarbons are, in essence, sunlight concentrated in plant, animal or bacterial matter. Be it coal, gas or oil, what we are extracting and burning is bioenergy concentrated in carbon.

This is not the way we have approached hydrocarbons for the past 200 years. Instead of considering energy as a biological process, we have regarded it as a matter of chemical engineering. When we have thought about how to get more energy out of the ground, or to process it more efficiently, we turned to chemical and mechanical engineers. These means and methods are no longer sufficient, much less efficient. We have to change how we approach energy production." (Juan Enriquez, Wall Street Journal)

"Barrage of turbines across the Severn could provide 5% of UK's electricity" - "Tidal power generated from more than 200 turbines in a 10-mile long barrage across the Severn estuary could provide nearly 5% of Britain's electricity for 120 years with minimal climate change emissions and should be investigated urgently, government advisers said yesterday.

But what would be Britain's largest power project and one of the most ambitious civil engineering challenges in the world would significantly affect the visual and marine environment for up to 30 miles around it and have mixed long-term economic and ecological impacts, said the Sustainable Development Commission. (The Guardian) | Severn barrage gets 'amber light' (London Telegraph)

Green, cheap... and American: "Mandelson told to halt biofuel flood" - "BIOFUELS firms are demanding the British government and the European Union take action to stop American rivals exploiting subsidies to flood the European markets with cut-price fuel." (Sunday Times)

"Don't Blame Ethanol for Food Prices - USDA's Conner" - "WASHINGTON - The growing use of corn to produce ethanol is not chiefly to blame for rising US food prices, the top federal farm official said on Friday.

"When we break down what is happening with food prices, we do see a complex set of factors at work. It's not quite a simple equation of rising ethanol demand equals higher food prices," acting Agriculture Secretary Chuck Conner said at a food policy conference." (Reuters)

"Tourism industry faces rising climate change threat" - "DAVOS, Switzerland – Booming demand for international travel is exacerbating climate change pressures and threatening many coastal, mountain and outdoor destinations, United Nations experts said on Monday.

Tourism currently accounts for 5 percent of global emissions of heat-trapping greenhouse gases, and the sector's contribution to global warming is expected to jump as increasing numbers of people travel, particularly by air." (Reuters)

"UN aviation body rejects EU emissions proposals" - "BRUSSELS — Members of the International Civil Aviation Organization rejected EU proposals Friday to cut carbon emissions made by the aviation industry, the European Commission said.

The Commission said a "majority of delegates" at the 36th meeting of the UN air transport body in Montreal "refused to sign up to meaningful targets to reduce aviation emissions." (AFP)

"ICAO rejects EU's right to impose emissions trading 'without mutual consent'" - "ICAO delegates supported a resolution at the organization's 36th Assembly last week stating that "emissions trading schemes should not be applied [by states and governing bodies such as the European Union] to aircraft of foreign countries without mutual consent," effectively rejecting non-EU airlines' participation in the EU's emissions trading scheme." (ATW Online)

"Red tape and cuts see householders give up on green grants, MP says" - "Householders have all but abandoned their efforts to go green by using renewable technologies such as solar power, because the government's tightening of the rules has made grants almost impossible to obtain.

As a result, the government's much-criticised Low Carbon Buildings Programme (LCBP) will not run out of funding for 15 years, even though the money was supposed to be used up by mid-2008, according to a Labour MP." (The Guardian)

"Europe Energy Chiefs Urge Public to Trust Nuclear" - "MADRID - European energy executives urged governments on Monday to work on the attitudes of their citizens so they can reopen the door to nuclear as a carbon-free source of power for the continent over coming decades." (Reuters)

"Nuclear industry pushes for early approval of new plants by warning of bottlenecks" - "Government warned that energy plans could be thwarted by shortages of skills and components." (The Guardian)

New from 21st Century Science: 1972 EPA Report Concluded DDT Should NOT Be Banned! (Ruckelshaus Banned It, Anyway) (pdf of partial text)


The long-suppressed ruling of the Environmental Protection Agency's hearing examiner Edmund Sweeney, concluding that DDT should NOT be banned, is now posted on the website of 21st Century Science & Technology magazine, www.21stcenturysciencetech.com, link at upper right.

Sweeney presided over seven months of hearings on DDT, which produced 9,000 pages of transcribed testimony. His 113-page report on the EPA hearings appeared in the Federal Register on April 25, 1972, but after a brief period of press coverage, it disappeared, not even to be found in the EPA archives.

The EPA administrator at the time, William Ruckelshaus, ignored the findings, and banned DDT on June 14, 1972, for what he later admitted were "political" reasons. The results were devastating in the developing sector, where DDT had been used for malaria control. Although the U.S. ban was technically only domestic, the State Department prohibited funding for any project that involved the use of a substance banned in the United States, thus effectively banning DDT in most poor countries.

Non-governmental funding groups also fully supported a DDT ban in their aid projects. As a result, malaria deaths rapidly soared to between 1 and 2 million yearly, mostly women and children. In Africa, one child dies every 30 seconds of malaria.

In September 2006, the World Health Organization reversed its 30-year ban on the use of DDT, citing the scientific evidence that indoor spraying with small amounts of DDT was a most effective weapon in stopping the spread of malaria and would not harm the environment. One of the main arguments used by the anti-DDT forces is that mosquitoes are resistant to DDT, but research has documented that DDT repels mosquitoes, even resistant ones, and most mosquitoes will not enter a home when they sense DDT.

After the WHO decision, the anti-DDT forces rallied the same old scare stories and lies to try to stop Third World nations from using DDT to fight malaria. As 21st Century Science & Technology has documented, the opposition to DDT was based on population control. Alexander King, the co-founder of the Malthusian Club of Rome candidly admitted this. He said that he had supported the use of DDT during World War II, when it saved the lives of millions of soldiers and refugees, but he later regretted this, when he saw how the reduction of malaria allowed population to grow.

Support the campaign against DDT scaremongering with a DDT T-shirt!
Only available from the JunkScience.com Store

Green advertising... Visual pollution, anyone? "Taking Green Message to Great Outdoors" - "A New York marketing firm has created a network of 500 ad venues near parks and ski resorts throughout the country as it looks to tap into the growing number of big brands launching "green" marketing campaigns." (Wall Street Journal)

"Rancher Violates Endangered Species Act by Killing Wolf to Save Cattle" - "A Montana rancher killed a wolf to protect his cattle herd, and now federal officials say he violated the Endangered Species Act. This apparently extreme instance led one conservative analyst to claim that the act is doing more harm than good, because it forces landowners to "shoot, shovel and shut up." (CNSNews.com)

"INDIA: Fisherwomen Question Tourism's 'Magic'" - "THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, Kerala - Beatles star Sir Paul McCartney described his 2002 Kerala tour in one word – 'magical'. For thousands who throng the state's green villages, picturesque backwaters and beaches, the experience is no less than a 'Magical Mystery Tour’. But local fisherwomen say it means new and harsh realities for them." (IPS)

"Obesity Paradox #9 — Fat on the brain" - "The media’s not too keen on reporting studies that might give people the idea that body fat is normal and might actually be healthy. The natural weight gain that comes with aging seems especially “bad news,” even though the weight of evidence continues to support that having body fat reserves is a survival advantage.

As we get on in years, however, cognitive decline is one of the most feared conditions. Dementia is incapacitating and leads to functional decline and can devastate the quality of life for its victims and their families. So, it is especially puzzling why the news isn’t all over studies offering insights that could lead to answers for millions of adults, and lessen concerns with risky dieting and trying to achieve thinness in retirement age.

Research led by Dr. Maureen T. Sturman, M.D., MPH, at the Rush Institute for Healthy Aging, set out to find the relationship between obesity among seniors and cognitive decline. The results were not what the researchers appear to have expected." (Junkfood Science)

"Mercury News Urges Crack Down on Rubber Ducks" - "But where’s the science in paper’s call on Governor Schwarzenegger to sign bill banning phthalates in children's toys?" (Trevor Butterworth, STATS)

"U.N. Body Wants Data Sharing on GMO Crops" - "MAKUHARI, Japan - Countries that have approved the use of genetically modified (GMO) crops should share information about them to reduce risks of disruption to the global food trade, a U.N. body said on Friday." (Reuters)

October 1, 2007

Hi AlGore Youth: "Inconvenient Youths" - "'Mom, we gotta buy a hybrid!' Kids are becoming the green movement's stealth weapon, pressuring their parents on everything from lightbulbs to composting. Inside the push to create the littlest eco-warriors." (Wall Street Journal) For the access challenged

"Doesn’t anyone care about global warming? No one shows up for learning event at River Bend Nature Center" - "CALEDONIA — Perhaps the problem on Saturday was that too many people were out enjoying the Earth on a fine, warm autumn day rather than gathering indoors to learn about saving it.

Whatever the reason, no one showed up for a learning session on global warming held at River Bend Nature Center. Perhaps it was because there were also other environmental activities going on around the area, said Adrienne Roach of the Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters. She was seated on a circle of benches with Rebecca Eisel, a volunteer with the National Wildlife Federation, and Kari Olesen of the Sierra Club. Olesen’s colleague, Laura Feider, waited outside for people to show up.

It wasn’t just global warming that the group was prepared to talk about. They also wanted to tell people about Senate Bill 81, a proposal in the Wisconsin Legislature which would set limits on the emission of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases." (Journal Times)

The Partisan Post? "Less Visibility in Store After Boss's Departure: Global Warming Views Drew Criticism" - "The University of Virginia's climatology data center is seeking a lower profile after its former top official, the state climatologist, resigned this past summer amid questions over whether he should use the position to promote his doubts about theories on global warming." (Washington Post)

Jimmy variously howled he was being "censored", "muzzled" and otherwise victimized by political partisans (albeit with allegedly significant assistance from a Soros front group), something the Post tripped over itself to publicize. So why is Michaels' case different?

"WaPo's Inconvenient Truth: No Alarm Sounded on Virginia Sacking Warming Skeptic" - "A respected state climatologist resigns his post citing inability to do his job due to political pressure. Sounds exactly like the "inconvenient truth" scenario that Al Gore complained about in his book and documentary. Only thing is in this case it's a Democratic governor, Tim Kaine of Virginia, arguably silencing a climatologist who believes the globe is warming, but that the Gore-ian forecasts of doom are overwrought.

So how did the Washington Post report Dr. Pat Michaels's complaint of political pressure infringing on his academic freedom? By penning an article downplaying an arguable intrusion of political influence in the sanctuary of scientific inquest." (News Busters)

"The incredible James Hansen" - "If you've paid any attention to the global warming debate, you've heard of James Hansen. 

Hansen is the politicized NASA climate scientist who virtually invented the global warming issue in the broiling summer of 1988 when he was the star doomsayer at Senate hearings called by Al Gore. 

Since then, Hansen has received better press than Mother Teresa. In hundreds of interviews and glowing profiles, the head of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies has been treated as objective and/or infallible by an adoring mainstream liberal media. 

Yet Hansen's not even close to being an objective scientist. He is openly ideological and rabidly partisan. His political pals and financial patrons are liberal Democrats -- Gore, John Kerry and left-wing groups funded by George Soros and Teresa Heinz. 

Nor is Hansen part of the hallowed scientific "consensus" on global warming. He's much more apocalyptic. He still predicts faster and much greater sea-level rises, ice-sheet meltings and species extinctions than the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change." (Bill Steigerwald, Tribune-Review)

"NASA’s Hansen Claims He’s Being 'Swift-boated' by Critics" - "A fascinating new liberal defense mechanism has arisen in the past couple of years: Whenever you want to dodge criticism, just claim you are being swift-boated. 

In fact, this has become such a part of political parlance that Microsoft Word now recognizes the term "swift-boated" without highlighting it as errant. Isn't that special?" (News Busters)

"Gore finally finds an audience" - "His Inconvenient Truth turned him from a loser to a pop phenomenon" (Doug Ward, Vancouver Sun)

So, people really prefer Gore talking about other than real-world phenomena...

Well, some do: "Gore's climate DVD 'promotes propaganda' in schools" - "Al Gore's climate change documentary, 'An Inconvenient Truth' was described in the High Court today as containing "serious scientific inaccuracies, political propaganda and sentimental mush".

The attack came as father-of-two Stewart Dimmock, a Kent school governor and a member of The New Party, challenged the Government's decision to provide the film to every secondary school in England.

Paul Downes, appearing for Mr Dimmock, 45, said that, even though the film had already been distributed and may have been shown to pupils, it was not too late for the High Court to declare the Government had acted unlawfully and quash the decision to authorise distribution.

The project was announced in February by the Government's education and environment departments." (24 Dash)

"It’s All About Money" - "Those wonderful folks in Congress who say the world is about to be roasted on the global warming spit have some great ideas on how to stop Mother Nature from barbecuing us and they even have plans on how to pay for the weapons against climate change.

They’ll make you pay for it while they get rich.

Forget the fact that the whole man-made global warming theory is a gigantic scam with not a shred of genuine scientific evidence to prove it. Instead, follow the money trail to get an idea of what it’s all about. And what it’s all about is money -- the big bucks the disciples of Al Gore will rake in, and the big bucks you’ll have to pay to finance this incredible con game." (Michael Reagan, Human Events)

Ils ne veulent point payer un centime! "French face tough choices to help save the planet" - "In a huge consultation exercise starting this week, the people of France will be asked whether they want to save the planet." (New Zealand Herald)

"Ever Sense That You Were on to Something?" - "Ever sense you were on to something? 

As noted in this space previously, it had come to my attention that state attorneys general were working behind the scenes with environmentalist pressure groups and trial lawyers on a strategy to replicate the tobacco litigation of the 1990s, which extracted enormous settlements for pressure groups and their programs, as well as paying off the trial lawyers quite handsomely. Internally, as well as on one nationally syndicated radio show, I noted that one result might be that the first round of AGs I requested documents under their freedom of information laws — CA, NY, VT, WA, CT, NY and NJ — might stall while moving up their time table and get things moving sufficiently to deny me records on the grounds that the documents related to ongoing law enforcement matters or pending litigation.I don't want to say that New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo is predictable, but... That's right. After some minor delaying tactics, we have received a letter denying us access to documents on the grounds that the otherwise responsive deliberations were now classified as "compiled for law enforcement purposes" and disclosure would interfere with said proceedings." (Chris Horner, Cooler Heads Blog)

"Climate change may sink Maldives" - "Unless the world starts taking climate change seriously, the Maldives could become uninhabitable this century, the president of the Indian Ocean archipelago Maumoon Abdul Gayoom says.

With a United Nations climate panel forecasting world sea levels likely to rise by up to 59cm by 2100 due to global warming, the clock is ticking, he said.

"Time is running out for us," Gayoom told Reuters." (Sydney Morning Herald)

Coastal flooding; myths and facts in past, present and future sea level changes
Nils-Axel Mörner
Paleogeophyscs & Geodynamics 

Flooding of coastal lowlands and islands has the potential of generating “catastrophes”. The boundary between myths and reality is vague for the past, and, as a matter of fact, even for future predictions. The postglacial rise in sea level undoubtedly implied flooding of vast areas. The smaller-scale oscillations in sea level in during the Middle and Late Holocene affected coastal conditions, too. Tsunamis and storms may lead to instantaneous destruction. 

In the last 5000 years, global mean sea level has been dominated by the redistribution of water masses over the globe. In the last 300 years, sea level has been oscillation close to the present with peak rates in the period 1890-1930. Between 1930 and 1950, sea fell. The late 20th century lack any sign of acceleration. Satellite altimetry indicates virtually no changes in the last decade. Therefore, observationally based predictions of future sea level in the year 2100 will give a value of +10 +10 cm (or +5 +15 cm), by this discarding model out-puts by IPCC as well as global loading models. This implies that there is no fear of any massive future flooding as claimed in most global warming scenarios. 

Novel prospects for the Maldives do not include a condemnation to future flooding. The people of the Maldives have, in the past, survived a higher sea level of about 50–60 cm. The present trend lack signs of a sea level rise. On the contrary there is firm morphological evidence of a significant sea level fall in the last 30 years. This sea level fall is likely to be the effect of increased evaporation and an intensification of the NE-monsoon over the central Indian Ocean. (Environmental Catastrophes and Recoveries in the Holocene) [em added]

"Insurance companies react to the peril of climate change" - "Montana is burning again. This summer, some of the nation's worst wildfires incinerated homes, barns and fences, killing livestock and forcing families to evacuate. Wildfires have increased fourfold since the 1980s, and they are bigger and harder to contain because of earlier-arriving springs and hotter, bone-dry summers. Last year's fires broke records; this year could be worse. As courageous firefighters beat back the flames, insurance companies continue to pay out billions for wildfire losses across the West." ( John Morrison and Alex Sink, The Washington Post)

Is this proof of "global warming"? Of course not -- it's a combination of people putting more assets in harm's way and misguided past policies leading to massive fuel loads.

"Russian official says prolongation of Kyoto Protocol ineffective" - "NEW YORK, September 25 - The prolongation of the Kyoto Protocol on the reduction of carbon emissions, which expires in 2012, will be ineffective, the head of the Russian hydrometeorology service said. 

Speaking at the United Nations headquarters in New York, which hosted a one-day summit on climate change Monday, Alexander Bedritsky said: "Samples prove that the Kyoto Protocol is imperfect, and its prolongation in its existing form for the coming periods of cooperation will be ineffective." (RIA Novosti)

No? Duh! Where were you? Even when the silly Protocol was first proposed its advocates called it "symbolic" knowing full-well that it had nothing to do with any meaningful manipulation of Earth's climate (assuming we could if we ever really wanted to).

"Climate Change: Filling the Bush Gap" - "Climate change geeks with a thing for international conferences — like me — were spoilt for choice this past week. You could rub shoulders with national leaders from over 80 countries — or just their junior advisers, depending on the color of your badge — at the United Nations high-level meeting on climate. You could Amtrak down to the White House and hear President George W. Bush tell the world's major economies that this global warming thing might actually be a problem and that we should maybe consider doing something about it eventually. Or you could catch the Clinton Global Initiative's annual meeting in Manhattan, where billionaire executives, extremely smart people and star-struck journalists listened raptly as Brad Pitt detailed his plans to rebuild New Orleans in fabulously green fashion." (Time)

Uh-huh... Check out the extraordinary alarmist rhetoric to which said "extremely smart people and star-struck journalists" were treated:

Video: Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting Energy & Climate Change Working Session

Boy, oh boy! Listen to John Holdren go: "What we are experiencing is uneven, rapid and overwhelmingly negative for human well-being" and not "global warming" but "accelerating global climatic disruption" (can't just see that getting legs the same as "global warming" somehow). Parenthetically, Holdren is director of greenie pressure group Woods Hole Research Center and has nothing to do with actual researchers at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

"Czech president: talk in Salt Lake City" - "The text mostly argues that it is difficult to accept environmentalism after communism. Yesterday, MF DNES published a new interview with the president." (The Reference Frame)

"Al Gore In Heels" - "Global Warming: The White House goes green at a climate conference, presenting a false choice between economic and planetary health. Man's impact on temperatures is overrated. The world's need for energy is not." (IBD)

Fact Sheet: Toward a New Global Approach to Climate Change and Energy Security - President Bush Addresses Climate Change At First Major Economies Meeting On Energy Security As Part Of His New Initiative In May 2007 And Welcomed By G8 Leaders In June And APEC Leaders In September (Whitehouse.gov)

President Bush Participates in Major Economies Meeting on Energy Security and Climate Change (U.S. Department of State)

Oh my... "Climate change: Bush goes on the attack" - "WASHINGTON — President George W. Bush went on the offensive on climate change Friday, proposing a summit next year among major emitters of greenhouse gases that would set a long-term global goal for curbing this dangerous pollution." (AFP)

... now the foundation of the global food web is "dangerous pollution"? Let's get one thing straight -- atmospheric carbon dioxide is an essential trace gas without which Earth's biosphere will collapse, wiping out all higher life forms. Save the whales (and most everything else)! Un-sequester previously lost carbon and promote life on Earth!

"On Warming, Bush Vows U.S. 'Will Do Its Part'" - "President Bush assured the rest of the world yesterday that he takes the threat of climate change seriously and vowed that the United States "will do its part" to reduce the greenhouse gases that are warming the planet, but he proposed no concrete new initiatives to reach that goal." (Washington Post)

"Do Your Own Thing" - "I've long maintained that the administration’s greatest weakness on this issue – that is, after the habit of providing futile rhetorical overtures to appease the greens which are only used against them in ways never intended, but quite obviously invited – is the failure to tout U.S. emissions performance and/or burst our antagonists’ bubble about their purported superiority simply because they made a promise (that, someone official needs to note, they are spectacularly breaking while we reduce emissions growth to near zero). True to form, the President did not discuss comparative emissions other than to say unnamed countries have done similar things." (Chris Horner, Cooler Heads Blog)

"Bush Taken to Task for Sidestepping Global Efforts on Climate Change" - "UNITED NATIONS, Sep 28 - Environmental groups and human rights activists are up in arms about the Bush administration's move to pursue a separate strategy instead of contributing to the UN-led global efforts to fight climate change. 

"What is the goal of this meeting? To persuade the other countries to undermine UN negotiations?" asked a spokesperson for Greenpeace International as the industrial nations' meeting on climate change commenced in Washington Thursday." (OneWorld)

Well that would be the most people- and planet-friendly result possible...

"Europeans criticize Canadian, U.S. approach to climate change" - "The Canadian and U.S. governments dismissed criticism from European leaders yesterday at the start of a major climate change summit in Washington, insisting that they will continue to lead the fight against global warming.

German Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel said he isn't expecting concrete results from the summit, while other European leaders warned that the U.S. approach for a new climate treaty with voluntary commitments won't work." (Mike De Souza, The Ottawa Citizen)

"Leading Article: Bush's hollow words on climate change" - "Anyone unacquainted with the White House's tactics over the years of sabotaging international efforts to combat climate change might be excused from taking some encouragement from this week's US-hosted conference in Washington." (London Independent)

"Bush's green plan 'disappointing'" - "WASHINGTON–U.S. President George W. Bush has called for an international fund to develop technology to cut greenhouse gas emissions, part of a White House bid to reshape the global environmental debate following the expiration of the Kyoto Protocol.

Bush, however, offered no new domestic initiatives in a speech to the world's biggest polluters meeting here and appears to have only further isolated his government from the approach favoured by most of the rest of the world.

Bush will not endorse mandatory emission cuts and his speech yesterday was panned by many European delegates, environmentalists and even onetime allies." (Toronto Star)

See, now here's the problem with paying lip service to a nonsense -- you can't really do anything and pretending to do so just upsets everyone from believers to skeptics.

The clueless Crone: "Still Out in the Cold" - "President Bush’s two-day summit on global warming this week was not, as some of the European delegates complained privately, a total bust. Our own expectations weren’t high, but we can note several positive outcomes. 

The meeting brought together 17 nations — the Group of 8 industrialized countries, plus big developing nations like China, India and Brazil — that are responsible for four-fifths of the world’s global warming emissions. 

It displayed a more open-minded and somewhat chastened George Bush, now in legacy mode and no longer in deep denial about the existence of global warming or the fact that humans and fossil fuels are primarily responsible for it.

And it produced a useful discussion about the huge investment in advanced technologies that will be required to stabilize and reduce these emissions." (New York Times)

The Beeb being 'impartial': "Critics angry at Bush climate plan" - "US President George W Bush infuriated his critics by professing world leadership on climate change at his meeting of the top 16 world economies - while offering no new substantive policy and implicitly rejecting binding emissions controls." (BBC)

Speaking of dispassionate reporting: "CLIMATE CHANGE: The Skunk at His Own Garden Party" - " After years of denial, the U.S. White House-sponsored summit on climate change ended Friday with President George W. Bush admitting that global warming was real and humans were responsible and asking for heads of state to join him at yet another summit next year (when his presidency ends)." (IPS)

Wonder what Stephen Leahy actually thinks of Dubya & the Bush Administration?

"Canada defends presence at climate talks" - "WASHINGTON–The Bush administration has opened a two-day climate change conference here fighting off charges it is undermining the United Nations and choosing voluntary goals over mandatory cuts in a post-Kyoto world.

Canada was among 18 participants huddled for two days of talks at the U.S. State Department. Environment Minister John Baird said the meeting was key because it showed American engagement in finding global warming solutions.

But many critics suggested it was an 11th-hour bid for credibility on climate change from a lame-duck administration that has none on this issue.

"For so long, people said they wanted to see U.S. engagement. We've got U.S. engagement," Baird said.

"Is it perfect? None of us around this table are perfect." (Toronto Star)

Meanwhile: "Climate change issue must be resolved through development" - "UNITED NATIONS -- Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said here Friday that climate change is ultimately an issue of development and can only be resolved through development." (Xinhua)

"Technology key to climate change, says Blair" - "Advances in technology to reduce carbon emissions will be key to solving the issue of climate change without damping growth for developing countries, Tony Blair, the former UK prime minister, said on Thursday.

”The problem is now very simple: how do you get a global framework that incentivises the development of the technology to reduce emissions? How do you get such a global framework that includes America, but also China and India?” said Mr Blair at the Clinton Global Initiative.

Technological development is crucial to addressing the risk of climate change because of the impossibility of asking developing countries to compromise their growth or forcing consumers to reduce demand, Mr Blair said.

”The brutal reality is, you’re not going to stop people consuming, or taking flights, and you’re not going to stop China,” he told a panel that included Hank Paulson, US Treasury secretary, and Gro Harlem Brundtland, UN special envoy on climate change." (Financial Times)

"Nature Imitated in Permanent CO2 Storage Project" - "Icelandic, American, and French scientists launched today a project aimed at storing CO2 in Iceland's lavas by injecting the green-house gas into basaltic bedrock where literally turns to stone. Carbon dioxide turning into calcite is a well known natural process in volcanic areas and now the scientists of the University of Iceland, Columbia University and the CNRS in Toulouse are developing methods to imitate and speed up this transformation of the gas that is the prevalent contributor to global warming. The project's implications for the fight against global warming are considerable, since basaltic bedrock susceptive of CO2 injections are widely found on the planet. Reykjavik Energy, a global leader in geothermal energy, is the main sponsor of the project." (Ad Hoc News)

"The Skinny on Bush's Climate Strategy" - "There are reports from reliable sources that the Environmental Protection Agency is moving rapidly to propose new rules to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from new automotive vehicles. This is being done in order to comply with the Supreme Court’s decision on April 2 in Massachusetts v. EPA. That 5 to 4 opinion ruled that greenhouse gas emissions fall within the Clean Air Act’s definition of air pollutants and that the EPA therefore had to consider a 1999 petition to regulate them." (Myron Ebell, Cooler Heads Blog)

"How old masters are helping study of global warming" - "The English landscape painter JMW Turner said his work was not to be understood but "to show what such a scene was like". Now global warming experts are taking advantage of his prosaic nature to improve their predictions of the consequences of climate change. 

The scientists are analysing the striking sunsets painted by Turner and dozens of other artists to work out the cooling effects of huge volcanic eruptions. By working out how the climate varied naturally in the past they hope to improve the computer models used to simulate global warming." (The Guardian)

The entire problem in such a simple statement: climate models are not supposed to simulate "global warming" (although they are programmed to do so) but rather simulate the global climate (not even close to being the same thing). Without fudge factors and the bizarre Mythical Magical Magnifiers used to inflate the known trivial effect of increased atmospheric carbon dioxide employed to make climate models emulate recent temperatures without anything like a full suite of climate drivers (which would make models impossibly complex, even if we knew what they were) current generation climate models tend to crash into ice ages when forward run (that is, emulating possible future states). This does not demonstrate that carbon dioxide has marvelous magical heating powers but rather that models do a really crappy job of emulating the global climate.

"CLIMATE CHANGE: Time For Some Slightly Mad Ideas?" - "BROOKLIN, Canada - Lack of governmental action on climate change is forcing scientists to consider radical climate geo-engineering schemes such as giant vertical pipes in the ocean and growing vast blooms of plankton to try and prevent the worst from happening." (IPS)

Taking what ain't broke and fixing it until it is...

"Algae Against Climate Change?" - "BERLIN - Research into the use of algae to capture carbon dioxide from the air is changing the negative reputation of these organisms, often seen as a plague associated with agricultural fertiliser run-off." (IPS)

"Greenhouse mania" - "A SUCCESSION of public figures succumbed to climate change hysteria this week as if it were a contagion. Sufferers exhibited symptoms that included an inability to deal with facts and a propensity to offer wild surmises, to adopt irrational positions and to ignore practical solutions." (The Australian)

"A Whole New World? The climate debate could be changing." - "Global warming is a complex issue to figure out, but one thing about it is actually quite simple — discerning which side dominates the debate right now. For the past year, those who view global warming as a crisis justifying a major federal response have had just about everything going in their favor." (Ben Lieberman, NRO)

"The heat is on national security, Australia told" - "Climate change is emerging as a major national security issue for Australia." (New Zealand Herald)

"Climate change bill calls for 50-cent fuel tax" - "WASHINGTON - U.S. drivers would pay a 50-cent tax on each gallon of gasoline they pump to encourage less fuel use and cut greenhouse gas emissions, under draft legislation to fight global warming released on Thursday.

"In order or reduce greenhouse gas emissions and make the planet safe and healthy for future generations it will take a significant investment from all of us," said Rep. John Dingell, the powerful chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

"A fee on carbon emissions requires a tithe from all citizens and industries, but no one entity will be unfairly leveled with a devastating burden," Dingell said about his climate change proposal.

The fuel tax, which would also be tacked onto a gallon of jet fuel, would be phased in over 5 years and then adjusted for inflation." (Reuters)

"Foul Winds for Renewable Energy" - "Environmental regulations and NIMBYism slow the growth of wind and wave power." (Jonathan H. Adler, NRO)

"The Break-Up: Time for a green divorce." - "After the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, environmental groups saw an opening. They realized that national-security hawks would be open to proposals to replace Middle Eastern oil, which they believed was financing terrorism, with alternative energy sources. Overtures were made. Then, slowly but surely, “bipartisan” coalitions began to produce reports aimed at killing two birds with one stone — the flow of dollars to terrorists and the risks of global warming. The proposals may sound compelling, but they will do nothing to strengthen America, and would weaken it instead." (Iain Murray, NRO)

"Editorial: Fireplaces on hiatus" - "Anyone who breathed the acrid smoke that hung across the Sacramento Valley when forest fires raged this summer must understand why the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District has proposed a common-sense rule to restrict wood burning this winter. From the beginning of November to the end of February, those cozy wood fires are the single largest source of lung-piercing fine particulate pollution.

The mixture of soot, smoke, metals, nitrates, sulfates and dust that residential fireplaces emit from burning wood penetrates deep into lungs. Exposure decreases lung function and aggravates asthma and bronchitis. In people with serious heart or lung disease, exposure to wood smoke can cause premature death." (Sacramento Bee)

"Swell Swine: North Carolina's hogs join the fight against global warming." - "North Carolina's global-warming activists are in hog heaven. Late last month, Gov. Mike Easley, a Democrat in his second term, signed legislation mandating that more electric power in his state come from "green" sources such as wind, solar energy, and hog and chicken waste. 

Today, North Carolina gets about 2% of its electricity from "renewable resources." By 2021, under the new mandates, Progress Energy and Duke Energy will have to find 12.5% of the power that they sell to Tar Heel residents from renewables. Hog-waste-generated power--as required by the new law--will nearly triple to 0.2% of the electricity used in the state over the next decade as farmers capture and sell the methane gas given off from tons of decomposing manure.

It's gone largely uncovered outside the state, but there is an energy revolution underway in the Tar Heel State that will cost residents more for the energy they use in the name of cutting greenhouse gases. Even while they make little headway in Congress, advocates of heavy-handed regulations to head off global warming are working to enact laws on the state level. They're succeeding in North Carolina. 

The immediate cost to consumers will be higher electric bills. For residential customers, an annual fee will eventually reach $34, and for industry the annual fee will grow to as much as $1,000.

The new hog mandate is only the beginning. The state has set up a special commission--the Climate Action Plan Advisory Group--to study ways to cut CO2 emissions. It's already adopted a list of 53 recommended new mandates and is drafting a report for the state legislature." (Wall Street Journal)

"NYT Front Page Shocker: Ethanol Causing Rise in World Hunger" - "Here's something you don't see every day on the front page of a major American newspaper: an article about how the rising demand for ethanol has sent corn and grain prices so high that it's resulted in more people around the world going hungry. 

Even more shocking: the article in question was on the front page of Saturday's New York Times." (News Busters)

"Ethanol’s Boom Stalling as Glut Depresses Price" - "NEVADA, Iowa, Sept. 24 — The ethanol boom of recent years — which spurred a frenzy of distillery construction, record corn prices, rising food prices and hopes of a new future for rural America — may be fading. 

Only last year, farmers here spoke of a biofuel gold rush, and they rejoiced as prices for ethanol and the corn used to produce it set records. 

But companies and farm cooperatives have built so many distilleries so quickly that the ethanol market is suddenly plagued by a glut, in part because the means to distribute it have not kept pace. The average national ethanol price on the spot market has plunged 30 percent since May, with the decline escalating sharply in the last few weeks.

“The end of the ethanol boom is possibly in sight and may already be here,” said Neil E. Harl, an economics professor emeritus at Iowa State University who lectures on ethanol and is a consultant for producers. “This is a dangerous time for people who are making investments.” (New York Times)

"Corn Farms Prosper, but Subsidies Still Flow" - "RADCLIFFE, Iowa -- Corn farmer Jim Handsaker has found a slew of ways to ride the heartland boom in biofuels that is reshaping the economy of rural Iowa. 

He sold some of his 2006 crop this year for more than $4 a bushel, the highest price in a decade. His stake in two nearby ethanol plants brought in several thousand dollars more in dividends. Meanwhile, soaring farmland prices have pushed the value of the 400 acres he owns to around $2 million. 

Even so, come October he will get a subsidy check from the government, part of a $1.6 billion installment that the U.S. Department of Agriculture will send to corn farmers." (Washington Post)

"Tories abandon green taxes" - "George Osborne today rowed back from environmental policies that have enraged the right as the Tories geared up for their annual conference - and a possible snap election.

The shadow chancellor said that proposals to tax supermarket car parks and to give air passengers a "green miles" allowance, under which they would be taxed if they took more than one short-haul flight a year, would now be abandoned." (The Guardian)

"Taxing times" - "The Conservative party which just a year ago urged voters to 'vote blue, go green' looks like it may have reached the limit of its eco-flirtation." (The Guardian)

"Class Is Out, And Lunacy In, At Columbia" - "Have American academics lost their collective minds? 

Last week, Columbia University allowed Iran's loony President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to be a lecturer on its campus. In the circus that followed, Ahmadinejad weighed in on everything from Israel to homosexuals, and came off, as expected, like a petty bigot.

All the same, by his very presence on an Ivy League stage, Ahmadinejad showed the world that a top American university considers his odious views worth showcasing. 

Ahmadinejad has denied the first Holocaust and all but promised a second one. His country's government is on its way to having a nuclear bomb, sends Iranian terrorists into Iraq to kill American soldiers and customarily jails journalists and expels politically active students from their universities.

But all that apparently still earned Ahmadinejad his publicity coup — and occasional applause from the Columbia audience. 

Yet in this time of war, Columbia won't allow our own Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) on its campus. 

One wonders whether Columbia would have invited Hitler as well. Don't laugh — a foolish dean did indeed announce two days before Ahmadinejad's visit that he would have likewise invited the Nazi fuehrer to speak." (IBD)

"SOUTH AFRICA: High Stakes Battle Between Mining and Environment" - "JOHANNESBURG - Environmentalists and tour operators appear to be losing the battle against mining companies in Mpumalanga, a province in the east of South Africa. This confrontation -- which also pits two ministries against each other -- will determine the future of hundreds of lakes and rivers, and has implications for the economic sustainability of the province." (IPS)

Just what no one needs: "Gov. Spitzer Picks Activists to Make State a Bit Greener" - "Gov. Eliot Spitzer has drawn from the top echelons of the environmental movement in New York in assembling his administration. (New York Times)

Uh-huh... "Human Behavior, Global Warming, and the Ubiquitous Plastic Bag" - "The supermarket as a lab for examining individual decisions." (New York Times)

... but wait, there's more! "Plastic bag tax 'would increase waste'" - "Waste advisors to the Government have today warned against a tax on plastic bags on the basis that it could have a detrimental effect on the environment. 

Experts have suggested that a ban or levy on plastic bags would actually lead to much greater volumes of plastic being used because people would need more bin liners and rubbish sacks. 

Research by the Government-funded Waste Resources Action Programme (WRAP) found that a levy on plastic bags in Ireland only made matters worse." (London Telegraph)

"W is for wifi woo" - "When the news recently reported of a British woman who’d become so afraid of electromagnetic radiation, that she’d become incapacitated and wore a strange-looking beehive hat that she believed protected her from wifi, a lot of people laughed. News in Europe has been filled with wifi scares and ominous headlines for years. Even this week, the International Herald Tribune reported that “Exposure to the invisible cloud of energy called electrosmog is rising,” with an article that offered nothing constructive but build a foreboding sense that electromagnetic radiation has us surrounded. 

Some scientists or skeptics scoff and don’t believe that people are really being frightened by “the sky is falling” stuff. So, they do nothing and say nothing. 

But a major announcement this week illustrated, once again, that scare stories do scare people and people do believe these things. Worse, they can have serious repercussions for all of us.... When skeptics aren’t skeptical, scientists aren’t scientific, journalism professionals aren’t professional, and we don’t keep our thinking caps on, people get hurt." (Junkfood Science)

"'Bad carbs' not the enemy, UV professor finds" - "The latest common wisdom on carbohydrates claims that eating so-called “bad” carbohydrates will make you fat, but University of Virginia professor Glenn Gaesser says, “that’s just nonsense.” Eating sandwiches with white bread, or an occasional doughnut, isn't going to kill you, or necessarily even lead to obesity, he said." (University of Virginia)